Skip to main content

Full text of "The Law Of The Harvest"

See other formats




We ^>ieased to present herewith 
a stir Citing new volume by Sterling 
W. Ail entitled The Law Of The 
F *t"oest. 

This interesting book is dedicated 
to the idea that personal growth is 
one of life's greatest opportunities. 
David Starr Jordan on^ said that 
man's first duty is to his ^afterself." 
And Charles F. Kettering reinforced 
this emphasis saying, "My interest is 
in the future, because I am going to 
spend the rest of my life there/* 

Almost eveiything is a preparation 
for something. We prepare for school, 
we prepare for marriage, we prepare 
for our life's work, we prepare for 
death. A university is an institution 
of learning intended to prepare us for 
better things to come, but so is a 
home, and so is an occupation, and 
so is life itself. The purpose of each 
is to 'bring us to a fuller realization 
of our possibilities. 

God's primary interest is centered 
in our improvement; that is the pur- 
pose of the scriptures, and that has 
been^the message of the prophets 
since' time began. That is also the 
reason that the Founding Fathers 
brought us to these shores and it still 
remains the basis for most human 
activity. To make the most and the 
best of our lives requires that our 
attention is kept focused on life's ob- 
jectives and that our effort is directed 
toward increasing our life's dimen- 
sions. We need to understand the 
program tihat God has provided for 
our benefit and to continually re- 
affirm those hereditary values that he 
has implanted in our souls. 

Mr. Sill has an unusual ability not 
(continued on inside back panel] 


48 00243 1385 

240 S58L 67-10281 


The law of the harvest 



F ( 

_ i ^ L 



"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for 
whatsoever a man sotueth, that shall he also reap." 

(Galatians 6:7) 




Bookcraft, Inc. 


Prmfed by 

in the United States of America 




}N JULY 4, 1776, a great new nation 
was born into the world. On that 
day, the men chosen to stand in the forefront of our national 
life, proclaimed the adoption of the American Declaration 
of Independence. It said in part: 

"We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men 
are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator 
with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, 
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." 

The Founding Fathers breathed into this declaration, 
and the constitution that followed it, the spirit of the mag- 
nificent accomplishment destined to flourish in this great new 
nation. Then after filling in the details of their ambition, 
they indicated that they were willing to invest everything 
they had, including themselves, in bringing about the inspired 
purposes to which they had dedicated their lives. Before 
signing they wrote: 

"And for the support of this declaration, with a firm 
reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually 
pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred 

Down through the years the great ideals embodied in the 
American way of life have been held constantly before our 
minds. We have greatly cherished the God-given privileges 
of sustaining and improving our lives and our opportunities, 
in this divinely favored land. We are grateful for our free- 
dom, our right to own property and enjoy the lawful fruits of 
our own labors. We cling vigorously to our rights to promote 
life and liberty, and to engage further in the pursuit of happi- 
ness. We hope and pray that we shall ijot fail in our efforts. 


During recent years we have run a kind of check on our- 
selves by making a number of public surveys, and taking a 
series of private opinion polls. We have asked our own genera- 
tion what it is that we want from life. The returns tell us 
that we still desire those things for which our fathers sought. 
We want to be free. We desire health and strength, includ- 
ing both spiritual and mental vigor. We want a long life. We 
hope to bring about the greatest possible development of our- 
selves, and achieve a substantial measure of material success. 
We want to feel that we ourselves are worthwhile, and that 
we have earned the right to the honest esteem of good people. 
We desire a high degree of intelligence, good judgment and 
a sense of social well-being, both for ourselves and our fami- 
lies. Fundamentally we have always been a religious people. 
Our Pilgrim Forefathers came to this continent for spiritual 
reasons, and we desire to build upon their foundation, and 
further develop our religious faith and general well-being. 
Long before our Pilgrim Forefathers knelt at Plymouth 
Rock, God had implanted in the soul of man an instinct to 
reach upward, and an earnest desire to serve the best inter- 
ests of his fellow man. In many ways, including the sacred 
scripture and the offices of the Church, God has made 
available his own program for helping us to make the 
most and the best of our lives. In that spirit, the fifty-two 
religious discussions recorded on the following pages have 
been prepared, and during the year just past they have 
been delivered to a radio audience over the air. 

They are now being presented in book form in the hope 
that they may make some contribution to those who may read 

The important "law of consequences" points out that 
everything we think or do completes itself in us. We are 
directly responsible for that particular 50 per cent of an action 
which is "cause," and then nothing can prevent us from 
receiving that other 50 per cent, which is "consequence." 


There is an old proverb that says, "What a lion eats 
becomes lion, but what a serpent eats becomes serpent/' 
And the kind of thoughtful consideration that we may give 
to the important questions of life will determine our own 
accomplishment both here and hereafter. The successful 
development of our lives, was the purpose for which our 
ancestors established us in this favored land; that has also 
been the theme of the prophets since time began; and it is the 
primary interest of God himself. As we make our own pledge 
to bring that purpose about, we need to have our values clear- 
ly in mind. And everywhere we turn, we come face to face 
with the short, blunt, powerful question of Jesus, asking 
"What doth it profit?" No matter what department of life is 
under consideration, that is one of the most important 
questions needing to be answered. What is the supreme 
good to which our life's effort should be directed and how 
can we bring accomplishment about. We sometimes run a 
considerable risk, when we imagine ourselves living under 
what we have referred to as "the profit system." We are on 
much safer ground when we apply its full title and remind 
ourselves that we actually live under "the profit and loss 
system." The possibility of loss presents a challenge equal to 
our opportunity for gain, and we need to keep an eye on 
both sides of the balance sheet of our lives. It is hoped that 
a consideration of these humble messages may encourage 
the formation of motives and ambitions strong enough to 
draw our lives a little further into the profit column, as well 
as to contribute something to our satisfaction, as we make 
our interesting way in quest of our God-given rights, among 
which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 


Foreword 5 

1. The Law of the Harvest 11 


2. Ahab and Jezebel 19 

3. Amnesia 26 

4. Angels 33 

5. Antonio Stradivari 40 


6. Ballistics 47 

7. Be Ye Therefore Perfect 54 


8. The Chance World 61 

9. Covenant Maters 67 


10. Damon and Pythias 74 


11. The Family 81 

12. The Fiery Serpents 89 

13. A Fighting Heart 96 

14. A Four Square Life 103 


15. The Gift of Courage 110 

16. Gratitude 117 


17. His Many Mansions 124 

18. Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother 131 

19. The Hour of Decision 138 


20. If You'll Follow the River 145 

21. Jack the Giant Killer 152 


22. Keeping Up with the Joneses 159 

23. The Kingdom of God Is Within You 166 


24. The Lamplighter 173 



25. Life's Arithmetic 180 

26. The Lost Chord 187 

27. The Love of Liberty 194 


28. The Marred Vessel 201 


29. No Room in the Inn 208 


30. The Odyssey 216 

31. The Other End of the Telescope 223 


32. Pandoras Box 231 

33. A Psalm of Life 238 

34. Python Eggs 245 


35. Quo Vadis 252 


36. The Rebel 259 

37. Regulus, the Roman 266 

38. Religion 273 


39. The Second Mile 280 

40. Seeds 287 

41. The Shortest Highway 294 

42. Simon and the Cross 301 

43. Sohrab and Rustum 308 

44. The Statue of Liberty 316 

45. The Sword of Damocles 323 


46. The Ten Commandments 330 

47. The Time We Save 337 

48. The Trojan Horse 344 

49. The Same Jesus 351 

50. Thou Shalt Not Covet 359 


51. The Unknown God 366 

52. The Unprofitable Servant 374 

The Law of the Harvest 

E OF THE distinguishing charac- 
teristics of our world is that it is a 
place of law and order, and the basic law of creation is God's 
fundamental law of compensation. It says that all work must 
be paid for, that we can no more do a good thing without 
sometime, in some way receiving a reward, than we can do an 
evil thing without suffering a penalty. In everything that we 
do, including the very thoughts that we think, we are subject 
to this interesting, undeviating eternal law. It is just as univer- 
sal in its operation as are the laws of gravity, electricity, light 
or heat. It is never set aside, it is never suspended or re- 
stricted, and it governs in every department of human activity. 
Nothing is ever denied to well-directed effort and nothing is 
ever achieved without it. 

The Lord himself gave this law its clearest expression 
when he said, "There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven 
before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings 
are predicated and when we obtain any blessing from God, 
it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated/* 
(D&C 130:20-21) It is a thrilling challenge, that we may 
have any blessing that we are will ing to live for. And the 
primary law of the universe is this immutable, inexorable, 
irrevocable law of the harvest that says, "Whatsoever a man 
soweth, that shall he also reap/' (Gala. 6:7) 

One of our most serious problems is that so frequently 
we fail to comprehend the application of this law to our per- 
sonal, social and religious lives. It is fairly easy to understand 
that those individuals working in agriculture, mining, manu- 
facturing or transportation, should rightly share in the benefits 
they help to create. It is perfectly proper for businessmen 


to realize some return to themselves from the vision, planning, 
forethought and industry which they have expended. 

But we do not always apply this fundamental principle 
to the most important enterprise ever undertaken upon this 
earth which Jesus referred to as "My Father's business/' As 
we have our work to do, so God has his work to do. He has said 
"This is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortal- 
ity and eternal life of man." ( Moses 1 :39 ) It is his business 
to build honesty, integrity, godliness and eternal happiness 
into the lives of his children. And he has endowed us with 
some basic, natural motivations to help us to help ourselves. 
This process of uplifting human life is not just the most im- 
portant business in the universe, it is also the most profitable to 
engage in. All of the important values in the world are human 
values, and the greatest rewards are reserved for those who 
help to bring them about. To make our own lives more inter- 
esting and profitable, God has invited us to have a part with 
him in this most important of all undertakings. 

Some time ago, I talked with a fanner who has a family 
of five boys. As his sons become old enough to assume a 
share of the responsibility of the farm, he allows them to 
obtain a little piece of land to till, or to acquire some farm 
animals to raise. This wise father understands the power 
underlying the important reward motivations, and he helps 
his children to use them to bring about their own accomplish- 
ments. And certainly the Father of our spirits is not less wise, 
nor less just, than this thoughtful farmer. God wants every 
human being to attain a maximum of development and per- 
sonal righteousness. This can best be brought about by 
sharing his own responsibility with us. Therefore, God has 
invited the members of his own family to join him in the fam- 
ily firm, so to speak. In this position we can assist in building 
industry, honesty and eternal life into each other. We are not 
only permitted to share in God's work but we may also share 
in his glory. For it is the law, that "Those who do God's work 
shall get God's pay/' 


We have tad something of a controversy going on in the 
world for some time about the comparative merits of the 
capitalistic system as compared with the various philosophies 
of communism and socialism. In the first instance, the wealth 
and means of production are privately owned and operated, 
whereas in the second case the people become the tools 
of autocratic power. The record proves that more than 
about anything else, God is committed to freedom, individual 
initiative and free enterprise. He wants everyone to enjoy 
the fruits of his own labor. 

The war in heaven was fought to determine whether or 
not men and women would be free, and God himself is the 
greatest of all of the creators of wealth, abundance and beauty. 
And he has promised possession of all of these things to his 
faithful children by saying, "Inasmuch as ye do these things . . 

the fullness of the earth is yours And it pleaseth God that 

he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end 
were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, 
neither by extortion." (D&C 59:16-20) If we effectively 
develop the highest values of life, God has promised to make 
us great in our own right, and he offers us the same rewards 
for our labors that he himself receives. We must not fail to 
understand and take advantage of this important opportunity. 

Some time ago I heard a very interesting discussion at a 
ward officers and teachers' meeting between the bishop and 
the ward Sunday School superintendent. It appears that there 
was a Sunday School teacher in this ward who had not been as 
vigorous as he might have been in his assignment, and the 
bishop was suggesting that maybe the Sunday School super- 
intendent should sit down with him and try and work out some 
basis for a more effective accomplishment. The Sunday 
School superintendent said to the bishop, "If this man worked 
for me in my business, I would feel perfectly free in doing 
exactly as you have suggested, but," he said, "inasmuch as we 
don't get paid for what we do in the Church, I think we 


should accept whatever contribution this man may feel like 
making and let it go at that/* 

There are far too many people who for lack of under- 
standing incline themselves to the point of view that the 
things of the spirit are of minor importance, to match the 
material rewards usually associated with spiritual activity. 

Just what do we mean when we say., "We don't get paid 
for what we do in the Church?" Think what benefits would 
be lost to any other accomplishment if we removed the pro- 
vision for compensation. But we may settle our minds as to 
that for just as surely as we can count on the law of gravity, 
we can count on God's law of compensation. In one of the 
thrilling scriptures we read as follows: 

"And also they who receive this priesthood receive me, 
saith the Lord. For he that receiveth my servants receiveth 
me; and he that receiveth me receiveth my Father; and he that 
receiveth my Father receiveth my Father's kingdom; there- 
fore, all that my Father hath shall be given unto him." (D&C 

God is a very wealthy personage. We all like to inherit 
from a wealthy parent. And what could be more exciting than 
to inherit from God, who has promised to give his faithful 
children everything that he himself has. Then what do we 
mean when we say that we don't get paid for what we do in 
the Church? To help us understand this important idea, just 
think how lavishly Nature rewards us for the things that we 
do in a material way. If we plant a bushel of seed potatoes in 
good soil, Nature gives us 60 bushels back. One potato 
carried to England by Sir Walter Raleigh in the 16th Cen- 
tury multiplied itself into food for millions. One tomato seed 
will multiply itself a million times in a single year. A few 
pounds of onion seed gives us a return of 50 tons of onions. 
Ten forests can grow from one acorn. Now who can imagine 
that the God of Nature, who is also the God of our souls, will 
pay more for planting tomato seeds and onions and acorns 


than he will for planting the seeds of faith, and honor and 
eternal life in the lives of his children! Out of his great in- 
telligence, God has organized helpful uplifting laws to 
govern our lives. He has included in his Church every re- 
quirement necessary to get us into the Celestial Kingdom. 
In fact, every ordinance of the gospel has to do with the 
Celestial Kingdom. 

If one is not interested in this highest glory, it is unneces- 
sary for him to be baptized or establish his family relationship 
for eternity, or even to obey the sacred, religious covenants 
that God has asked us to make. Just suppose we try to figure 
out how much it would be worth to live forever in the Celes- 
tial Kingdom. The Celestial Kingdom is the highest. It 
is the one described by Paul as "The glory of the sun." It is 
the place of the celestial order of beings to which God himself 
belongs, and as we seek membership therein we need to 
understand something about it. 

We have formed the habit of measuring most things by 
the yardstick of the dollar. Then how much is the Celestial 
Kingdom worth in American money? It is interesting to re- 
member that of the thirty-eight parables of Jesus, nearly one- 
half of them were related to money. Jesus talked of the 10 
talents, the tribute money, the tax money, the lost coin, the 
pearl of great price, etc., etc. He probably used money as 
a basis for his comparisons because that is the thing that we 
probably understand better than any other thing. There isn't 
any six-year-old who doesn't understand all about a five-dollar 
bill. Then suppose we figure out how much it would be worth 
in our money to qualify as Celestial beings with the high- 
est possible standard of living, the highest possible standard 
of thinking, and the highest possible standard of being. 

There are no greater values than that of the human soul 
and the human personality. Jesus compared the value of the 
soul to the value of the entire earth. Sometime ago I saw a 
newspaper statement that said that the assessed valuation of 


the United States alone was well over a trillion dollars. How 
many hours of devoted, capable labor "in our Father's busi- 
ness" would be necessary to start a trillion-dollar soul along 
the pathway toward eternal exaltation? We know how many 
bricks a good bricklayer can put in place in a day, and how 
much should be paid for such a service, We know what a 
good bank president or a good doctor or a good Governor is 
worth. But how much integrity and godliness can a good 
workman build into human lives, and how much is it worth 
to save a soul from death? With effective work in this area 
one might discover a profit situation going far beyond the 
present ability of our limited comprehension. 

In its best meaning, wealth fejaiLsp much what one has, 
as what he is. We don't work merely to acquire, we work to 
becoma Success in life isn't measured by what we can get 
out of it, but rather by what we can become by it. The 
greatest possible accomplishment, is what we can help our- 
selves or someone else to become. The most valuable work- 
man is the one who understands these all-important values 
and learns to practice the laws of God under which they can 
best be produced. And our greatest motivation logically 
comes from finding out what it is really worth to live forever 
in the Celestial Kingdom. 

We may be able to get some ideas about this by deter- 
mining what it would cost to live in the best hotel that this 
earth affords. For example, there is a hotel in Southern Florida 
used as a club that was built by some wealthy men from the 
north and east as a place to spend their winters. I don't know 
how many millions of dollars it cost, but it is a lavish, luxurious 
elegant, beautiful place. It is located on the beautiful beach 
of a beautiful ocean in the warm Florida sunshine. It is sur- 
rounded by flower gardens, orange groves and golf courses. 
There is yachting, fishing and swimming. Every conceivable 
kind of food has been provided from every corner of the earth. 
There is every pleasure, service and convenience that the most 


thoughtful ingenuity of man can devise. No expense has been 
spared to make this the most pleasant comfortable possible 
place, If you occupied the best accommodations in this hotel 
your expenses would be a hundred dollars a day. Of course, 
you would have your wife with you, that would mean $200 a 
day. If you took your seven children it would cost you $900 
a day. But your children would be much happier if they had 
their playmates with them; you may also want to have some 
of your friends to share this luxury with you. Suppose you 
took along a company of 50 friends and stayed for a month 
in the finest hotel. How much would it cost? Of course, you 
would not want to spend such a limited period in such a place 
and then come back to less desirable surroundings. So just 
suppose that you determined the cost of spending an eternity 
with your family and friends in the best hotel. Of course, no 
hotel could conceivably compare with the Celestial Kingdom, 
because no matter what the luxury and elegance of the best 
hotel may be, you would still have the problems of sin, disease, 
old age, sickness, trouble, war and death to contend with. But 
if you once determined the total cost of staying in the best 
hotel, you might then magnify the amount by a few million 
times as a means of approximating the value of the Celestial 
Kingdom. If one would actually require himself to get a 
definite answer to this important question, it might help him 
to overcome the bad habit of vagueness that we sometimes 
assume as we think about accomplishment in the important 
work of human uplift and eternal exaltation. 

Our personal growth, our spiritual development, our 
material welfare, our honor and every other thing comes under 
this immutable law of the harvest that says, "Whatsoever a 
man soweth, that shall he also reap/' We have become too 
much accustomed to thinking of avoiding the consequences 
of law. We may violate the traffic regulations and never get 
caught. If we are caught we may get off without a penalty or 
we may be able to get the ticket "fixed" afterwards. But as 
regards our own eternal welfare, we had better not plan to 


get too far away from what it says in the book, for this im- 
mutable law of God always has stood and always must stand 
unchanged and unchangeable. Jesus himself said, "It is 
easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law 
to fail/' (Luke 16:17) Ignorance or disregard of the law 
does not excuse us. And we need to study our situation and 
ourselves from every possible point of view. We must under- 
stand our possibilities on both their negative and their posi- 
tive sides. We need to be able to appraise our own traits of 
good and bad and what can best be done about each. We 
need to know how to apply the commandments, and how to 
make the most of every situation. 

When John Bunyan's Pilgrim came within the range of 
the Celestial City, he was permitted to look at it from a 
distance through a field glass, but as he put the glass to his 
eye he became excited, his hand shook and blurred his vision. 
Then because he couldn't see it clearly his motive power failed 
and Pilgrim turned away. 

It is most important that our vision does not blur nor our 
motives lose their strength. For a stimulating future view in 
our own interests we might profitably borrow the field glasses 
of John the Revelator, and see what he saw as he looked down 
the stream of time to the final judgment. About this impor- 
tant event the Revelator said: 

"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; 
and the books were opened and another book was opened, 
which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of 
those things which were written in the books, according to 
their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; 
and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: 
and they were judged every man according to their works/* 
(Revelations 20: 12-13) 

Ahab and Jezebel 

[T HAS frequently been said that be- 
* hind every great man stands 

some great woman who is responsible for his success, but 
history also tells of many other men, great and otherwise, 
whose downfall has also been brought about by a woman. 

We remember that it was the daughter of Herodias who 
demanded that the head of John the Baptist be brought to 
her on a platter. One of Shakespeare's great tragedies cen- 
ters in the account of Goneril and Regan, the selfish daugh- 
ters of King Lear, who tread unfeelingly upon the broken 
heart of their sire. It was the unholy ambition of Lady Mac- 
beth that urged her husband to plunge a dagger into the 
heart of the sleeping King Duncan while he was a guest in 
their home. Lucretia is remembered for her dagger thrust, 
Borgia for her poison, and we cannot forget the great Bible 
classic of Samson and Delilah. Delilah centered her efforts 
and resources in learning the secret by which she could rob 
Samson of his strength, and her greatest triumph was in bring- 
ing about his blindness, imprisonment and death. 

Many a woman is the chief support of her husband's 
success. She is the well spring of his courage and the source 
of the faith and industry by which he climbs the heights of 
righteous accomplishment. Then there are those women 
who, Delilah-like, rob their husbands of whatever strength 
they may already have. It is probably even more true that 
many women are dragged down by die men in their lives. 
One of the marital teams that will live in history because of 
the evil they brought upon each other, and upon the society 
in which they lived, was King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, 
whose history is recounted in the Old Testament. If one 
could properly use the term, "Pure wickedness/' it would 


undoubtedly be the phrase that would best describe this 
unholy pair. However, such great extremes, even in wicked- 
ness, sometimes carry with them a kind of fascination and 
opportunity for learning. Certainly if Ahab and Jezebel were 
not extremes they were nothing. In fact the Bible says that, 
"Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger 
than all the kings of Israel that were before him/' The rec- 
ord says, "There was none like unto Ahab, which did sell 
himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord." 

And what a mate Ahab found in Jezebel! Her name 
not only blasted the name of her husband with wickedness, 
but it left a dark blasphemous stain upon the annals of 
Israel's history which survived to the very last chapter of the 
New Testament. In the Book of Revelation, the name of 
Jezebel is used as a symbol of female depravity and impiety. 
She represents that influence bringing die greatest possible 
ruin to the Church. To this day she stands without a peer 
as a symbol of colorful wickedness. Jezebel achieved her 
high place through her husband's power. It was she who 
stirred up Ahab to commit his abominations. 

Omri, the father of Ahab, had also been King of Israel. 
He had been very successful in his military conquests and in 
killing off his rivals. He founded the national capital of 
Israel at Samaria. For reasons of politics, trade and national 
strength, Omri desired an alliance with the King of Tyre. For 
this reason he encouraged his son, Ahab, to marry Princess 
Jezebel, who was the daughter of Tyre's king. It was cus- 
tomary in those days that when an alliance was made be- 
tween two countries, each participating nation accepted the 
Gods of the other. But, because Jezebel was extreme in 
worshiping the heathen Gods of Baal, she went far beyond 
what the custom intended. She brought with her to Israel, 
hundreds of heathen priests and prophets, and supported by 
Ahab she was instrumental in establishing the idol worship 
of the Phoenician Gods in her new homeland. And for a time 


under the leadership of Ahab and Jezebel, Baal threatened to 
displace Jehovah as the God of Israel. 

Upon the death of Omri in 874 B. C., Ahab ascended 
Israel's throne and with Jezebel by his side they ruled for 22 
years. And what a pair they were to govern in the promised 
land which Jehovah had given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 
They represent a striking picture of the amount of degra- 
dation that one person can bring upon another or even upon 
a nation. We are aware of the problems that sometimes 
arise when someone marries outside of his own kind. We 
know of the harm that can come even from an unfortunate 
social association. But here we see the evil of a wicked in- 
fluence at its height. The names of Ahab and Jezebel stand 
out among the individuals of the world as Babylon does 
among nations. Jesus symbolized the name of Babylon to 
denote corrupt Rome, apostate Jerusalem and the entire 
empire of Satan. Wherever the powers of men are whole- 
heartedly antagonistic to the Kingdom of God there is Baby- 
lon, and there also are Ahab and Jezebel. In their perfume 
scented court, reeking with corruption, Jezebel decided that 
the worship of Jehovah should be stopped and accordingly 
she ordered that all of the prophets of Jehovah should be put 
to death. This was in part accomplished, and Ahab built 
temples for the idol gods that Jezebel had brought from her 
homeland to take their places. 

The records indicate that from some points of view Ahab 
was extremely capable and with more righteousness might 
have been a great king. He seemed to have inherited all of 
the abilities of his father with some besides. Among a cer- 
tain element of the people he was very popular. However, 
from the priestly point of view he was a very bad man and 
an even worse monarch. Certainly one of the greatest mis- 
fortunes of his life was his marriage to the evil princess of 
Tyre. For more than any other single event this marriage 
threatened and partially brought about the downfall of the 


entire northern kingdom of Israel. Jezebel caused terrible 
scenes of blood and death as she went about killing the 
prophets of Jehovah and establishing the worst forms of 
Phoenician worship where Jehovah had hoped to establish a 
righteous nation. Jezebel herself was forceful and cruel and 
she encouraged Ahab in every kind of wrong doing. 

Her upbringing had been quite at variance with the 
ideals in vogue in her adopted land of Israel. Her father was 
an autocrat who had himself gained his throne by assassina- 
tion. When he wanted anything he took it, and in this respect 
Jezebel proved to be a worthy daughter of her father. How 
well she followed in his footsteps is told in the Bible account 
of their dealings with one of their subjects, 

Samaria was the official capital of Israel but it was 
situated in the colder, central hills, so Ahab and Jezebel 
established a winter capital for themselves in Jezreel, which 
lay at the junction of two important roads. Jezreel had 
beautiful surroundings, a mild climate and a fertile soil. These 
made Jezreel an ideal location for the royal winter residence. 
A small land owner by the name of Naboth owned a vine- 
yard near the royal palace and Ahab was desirous of acquir- 
ing it as a garden to provide the royal table with choice 
products. Ahab asked Naboth to sell him the property; but 
this land was Naboth's inheritance from his fathers and he 
declined to part with it. 

Then the record says, "And Ahab came into his house 
heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth 
. . * had spoken to him . . . and he laid him down upon his 
bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread/' 
But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said, "Why is thy 
spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread? And he said to 
her, because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite and said unto 
him, "give me thy vineyard for money; or else if it please 
thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, 
*I will not give thee my vineyard/ And Jezebel his wife said 
unto him, T)ost thou not govern the kingdom of Israel? 


Arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will 
give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite/ " 

And so Jezebel wrote letters in Ahab's name and sealed 
them with a state seal and sent the letters to the elders and 
nobles who governed the city where Naboth lived. She had 
them arrange for a fast at which false witnesses were asked 
to swear that Naboth had cursed God and the king. Jezebel's 
plan worked perfectly and inasmuch as the alleged crime was 
punishable by death, Naboth was taken on the spot and put 
to death by the prescribed penalty of stoning. 

Then Jezebel said to Ahab, "Arise, take possession of the 
vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, ... for Naboth is ... 
dead/' It was the law that the king; inherited th^ property 
of all felons executed for blasphemy and sedition. Accord- 
ingly, Ahab prepared to take over the vineyard of Naboth. 
However there was one who objected to this procedure and 
that was Jehovah, who sent the prophet Elijah to meet Ahab 
as he took over the vineyard of Naboth. Elijah roundly 
condemned Ahab and Jezebel and foretold the tragic ending 
of their dynasty. Elijah said to Ahab, "Hast thou killed, 
and also taken possession?" Then speaking for Jehovah, 
Elijah said that, "In the place where dogs licked the blood 
of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood . . ." Because Ahab had 
sold himself to do evil in the sight of the Lord, Elijah said 
God would bring evil upon him and utterly sweep him away 
for he had provoked God to anger and had made Israel sin. 
Then through Elijah the Lord gave his final sentence when 
he said, "The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the ramparts of Jez- 
reel." (I Kings 21) 

The contest between Jezebel and the fiery old prophet 
Elijah lasted over a long period. On one occasion Elijah 
came to the court of the wicked king and queen and told 
them that the Lord's anger would be evidenced in a pro- 
longed drought. Elijah said, "As the Lord God of Israel 
liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor 


rain these years, but according to my word/' This made 
the king and queen very angry and they would have killed 
Elijah had he not escaped. 

Then the Lord had Elijah go into hiding by the brook 
Cherith where he was miraculously fed by the ravens. Fin- 
ally the brook dried up because of the drought and Elijah 
was sent to Zarephath where he was fed by a widow from 
her handful of meal in the barrel and her small supply of 
oil in the cruse. 

Only after three years did Elijah return to the kingdom 
of Ahab and Jezebel. On the occasion of his return he 
matched his strength and ability as a prophet against the 
prophets of Baal in the famous and dramatic contest of Mount 
Carmel. Elijah won and the priests of Baal were all put 
to death. The destruction of her priests aroused the proud 
consort of Ahab to a murderous fury and Elijah was again 
forced to flee from Israel. Ahab finally met his death when 
in one of his battles a chance arrow struck him in the joint 
of his armor which was one of the vulnerable spots in the 
protective covering of the ancients. Gravely wounded as 
he was Ahab knew that if he fell, his army would break 
and run, so he kept himself on his feet until the last. He 
bled to death in his chariot while still facing the enemy 
and after his death the dogs licked up his blood. Later 
when Jezebel heard that the new ruler was coming to Jez- 
reel she painted her face and otherwise adorned herself 
to meet him. As Jehu the new king approached, Jezebel 
stood by an upper window, which was the usual procedure 
for receiving royal company in those days. Jehu looked up 
to Jezebel at the window and said, "who is on my side?" 
And the record says, "And there looked out to him two or 
three eunuchs and he said to them, throw her down." So 
they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled 
on the wall and on the horses and he trod her under foot, 
and left her body for the dogs to eat. The record recites 


that at a later time when the dogs had finished their job, 
parts of Jezebel still remained unburied. Thus was fulfilled 
the word of the Lord, which he spake by his servant Elijah 
saying, "The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the ramparts of Jez- 
reel." (II Kings 9:36) 

After the death of Ahab, Jezebel and all seventy de- 
scendents of the royal family were put to death by Jehu. 
The record says that Jehu wrote letters to the rulers in Sa- 
maria and gave them just one day to cut off the heads of 
the seventy members of the royal family and bring them 
to him in Jezreel, and the record says: "And it came to pass, 
when the letter came to them, that they took the king's sons, 
and slew 70 persons, and put their heads in baskets, and 
sent them to Jehu in Jezreel ... so Jehu slew all that remained 
of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and 
his kinf oiks, and his priests, until he left him none remaining." 
(II Kings 10:7, 11) 

And thus the awful scenes of blood and death were 
returned upon Jezebel and all of the members of the royal 
house which she had condemned to death by her evil. 

Again we see a demonstration of the important truth, 
that evil and wickedness always brings unhappiness and suf- 
fering. And we may be able to increase our own under- 
standing by occasionally getting into our minds a picture of 
the awful visage of sin, and thereby be inspired to more near- 
ly conform our own lives to righteousness. 


E OF the serious problems of our 
world has always been that o ill 
health. Disease has many forms and a multitude of physi- 
cal, mental and spiritual manifestations. In one way or 
another it cuts down our effectiveness, kills our accomplish- 
ment and makes our lives miserable and unprofitable. Some 
diseases are more to be dreaded than others because of their 
greater ability to maim, disable and destroy. 

Ranked in order of number of fatalities, the diseases of 
the heart stand at the head of the list. The awful scourge 
of cancer comes second in breaking up our homes and wreck- 
ing our happiness. Polio, muscular dystrophy and kindred 
ills strike down the young and robs them of the use of their 
limbs and the exercise of their opportunities. Disease leaves 
in its awful wake a host of dead and a vast multitude con- 
signed to be cripples for the rest of their days. 

In the Bible we read of the frightful plague of leprosy 
which made life an experience of horror to many of the 
ancients. Jesus lived in the very midst of this serious prob- 
lem and when he was referred to as the great physician, it 
was not only because he cured the bodies of people; he also 
helped to restore the health of those with sick souls. 

And one of the most common of all the causes of soul 
sickness is forgetfulness. This is one of the problems that 
is frequently referred to in the holy scriptures. In Crudens 
Concordance there are over two hundred references to our 
need for remembering. But still in our day there are prob- 
ably few things that so adversely affect our lives here and 
hereafter as the fact that we don't remember. It is our 
history that since the beginning of time, men and women 
have largely forgotten God. They have forgotten obedience. 


They have forgotten righteousness. The result is that they 
have lost the way to their eternal exaltation. 

Isn't it interesting that everyone complains of a poor 
memory. We can't remember names, we can't remember 
faces, we can't remember ideas, we can't remember New 
Year's resolutions, we can't remember our own ambitions and 
ideals. Sometimes we can't remember the promises we have 
made to our creditors, we can't remember the promises we 
have made to our families or the covenants that we have 
made with God. Certainly one of the worst of all of the 
dread diseases goes by the name of amnesia or the loss of 
memory. Like paralysis or stroke or heart disease, this mal- 
ady may be total or it may possess us in some damaging 
fraction, with mental, spiritual or physical implications. There 
are many people every month who actually forget who they 
themselves are. They can't remember their own names, 
they can't remember their past, their families, their stand- 
ards or their ambitions. Polio robbed Franldin D. Roose- 
velt of the use of his legs, but amnesia robs one of his ability, 
his family, his friends and his sense of responsibility. Amne- 
sia takes away our very experience which was one of the 
important reasons we came to the earth in the first place. 

Amnesia may be caused by some injury to the brain or 
some severe nervous shock or fever. The dictionary mentions 
several classes of amnesia. There is infantile amnesia, which 
is the lack of the memory of early childhood; there is a retro- 
grade amnesia, which is the loss of memory of the period just 
preceding a blow on the head or some other kind of shock. 
The dictionary also describes what it calls systematic amne- 
sia, which is the loss of memory of a certain system or class 
of experiences. There is a verbal amnesia which is the in- 
ability to recall certain words. And there are several other 
manifestations of this dread disease. 

I have probably been more than ordinarily impressed 
with the unpleasant possibilities of this idea, because of the 


disturbing personal experiences that I have had with some 
varieties of forgetfulness. For example, I am subject to the 
recurrence about every six months of an unpleasant dream. 
The outstanding characteristic of which is that I can't re- 
member. In my most recent dream experience, I had for- 
gotten where I had parked my automobile. Not only had I 
forgotten the street on which it had been left, but I had also 
forgotten the city, the state and the nation in which I had 
used it last. I can vividly recall my emotion of confused help- 
lessness as in my dream I hopelessly tried to recall even the 
faintest memory of where I had left my automobile. To make 
matters worse, I was reminded in my dream that I had not 
only lost one car, but three in close succession. It seemed that 
I tried unsuccessfully for hours to stimulate a reluctant mind 
to remember. This predicament produced in me a dismal 
feeling of hopelessness, frustration and regret. The loss of 
the automobile was bad enough, but the terrible, addled 
blankness and awful frustration that possessed my brain was 
far worse. 

In another of these semiannual dreams, I was back in 
my school days and had forgotten my lessons. I was taking 
part in a written examination and hadn't the slightest idea 
of what the answers were, and to my confused mind there 
was no way of finding out. In one of these awful experiences, 
I was aware of a part I had been given in a school play. 
It seemed that it was time for me to go on the stage, but 
I couldn't remember my cues, and all mental traces of my 
lines had been completely erased. I had a terrible feeling 
of self-consciousness and regret that I was holding up the 
whole performance and disappointing everybody including 

When I wake up after such a dream, it takes some time 
to clean this frustration and unhappiness out of my mind 
and get back my composure. Then I can easily imagine 
what it might be like to have a nervous breakdown or some 


other kind of real mental or religious disintegration. My ex- 
perience also helps me to understand this serious sin of 
spiritual amnesia. 

The Bible is a long, unpleasant record of forgetfulness. 
It seems that God's biggest problem is not to create and 
organize worlds, but to keep the minds of people properly 
focused on those things that will prevent them from losing 
their eternal exaltation. Very frequently God has been forced 
to give us a kind of shock treatment, to help us to remember 
to be humble and obedient. He has often sent wars, floods, 
famines, depressions and plagues upon us to help us to re- 
member. But, even after some dreadful chastisement, it 
usually isn't very long before we are back at it again, for- 
getting our promises, forgetting our obligations and even 
forgetting the purposes of our own lives. Many people have 
no difficulty remembering certain material or pleasurable 
interests, but find it almost impossible to remember truth 
and God and righteousness. 

Many people forget the most easy rules of simple Eng- 
lish grammar who never forget their long, bloodcurdling list 
of profane, immoral and blasphemous words and ideas. James 
compares those who hear the word but fail to do it, to a man 
who beholds himself in a glass and straightway forgets what 
manner of man he is. To forget the manner of men we ought 
to be is one of these special kinds of amnesia where we lose 
memory for certain classes of ideas. Unless eternal life is 
to be lost, there are some things that we must remember, 
and there are ways to strengthen our minds for that important 

During the Babylonian captivity, because the Jews so 
deeply longed for their homeland, they thought about it 
continually. They used to sing, ". . . If I forget thee O 
Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not 
remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my 
mouth." (Psalm 137:5, 6) 


Isaiah also sang a song about remembering. He said, 
"Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should 
not have compassion on the son of her womb?" Then Isaiah 
said, "Yea, they may forget, yet I will not forget. Behold, I 
have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; and thy walls 
are continually before my face/' (Isaiah 49:15, 16) We 
need some similar system. For our success, as well as Isaiah's 
depends largely on which things we remember, and which 
things we forget. 

It is an interesting fact that a creditor always has a better 
memory than a debtor. It is far easier to remember our 
anticipated pleasures than it is to remember our anticipated 
duties. Many people cannot remember their responsibilities, 
yet they seldom forget their smoking or their drunkenness or 
their immoralities or their Sabbath Day violations. Some- 
times while we are remembering trifles we forget our souls. 
Through Jeremiah the Lord said, "Can a maid forget her 
ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have for- 
gotten me days without number /* (Jeremiah 2:32) 

To forget God and his righteousness is an error that no 
one can afford. Out of the fire and smoke covering the sacred 
top of Mount Sinai, the Lord gave ten commandments. Prob- 
ably to make them more memorable they were given to the 
accompaniment of lightnings and thunders, while among 
other things God said, "Remember the sabbath day, to keep 
it holy. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God 
in vain; . . . Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not kill. Thou 
shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not bear false wit- 
ness. . . /* 

How difficult our lives become if we forget these im- 
portant commandments! How impossible our success is, if 
we forget God! We must remember to be obedient. If we 
forget the laws of God, eternal life and eternal glory become 
impossible for us. A lost soul is much harder to recover 
than a lost automobile. And the forgotten man is the man 


who forgets God, whereas our eternal lives depend upon 
how well we remember to obey and keep his commandments. 

It might stimulate our memories if we tried to imagine 
what it would be like if God should forget us. Through Jere- 
miah, the Lord makes a terrifying declaration about some 
who had forgotten their covenants. He said, ". . . therefore, 
behold I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake 
you and the cities that I gave to you and to your fathers, 
and I will cast you out of my presence. And I will bring 
an everlasting reproach upon you with a perpetual shame 
which shall never be forgotten/' With this possibility in mind, 
Rudyard Kipling composed his great prayer, in which he re- 
peated over and over again, "Lord God of Hosts be with 
us yet, lest we forget, lest we forget." 

One of the most important parts of religion is in learn- 
ing to remember. God said, ". . . remember the sabbath day, 
. . . remember the Lord thy God." The sacrament was insti- 
tuted to help us to remember him. (I Corinthians 11:24) The 
office of the Holy Ghost is to bring all things past to our 
remembrance. (John 14:26) 

During one long period, God tried to stimulate the mem- 
ory of ancient Israel by commanding them to make bright 
colored fringes and attach them to their clothing to help 
them to remember. God said, "And it shall be unto you for 
a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember aU the com- 
mandments of the Lord, and do them; . . /* (Numbers 15:39) 
This seems like a permanent adaptation of that idea where 
we sometimes tie a string on our finger to help us 
remember some particular thing. The scriptures themselves 
serve primarily as a prod to our memory. Strange though it 
may seem, our greatest need is not to be taught but to be 

In his address to the elders of Ephesus, Paul said, ". . . 
remember the words of the Lord Jesus. . . ." (Acts 20:35) 
To the Galatians, he said, **. . . remember the poor; . . ." 


(Galatians 2:10) To the Thessalonians, he said, "Remember 
. . . that ... I told you these things." (II Thess. 2:5); and 
in the last letter of his life addressed to Timothy, Paul said, 
"Remember that Jesus Christ . . . was raised from the dead 
. . ." (II Timothy 2:8) How terrible it must be for those who 
forget these things, even temporarily. On one occasion Job 
said that when he remembered he was afraid and he said 
that trembling took hold of his flesh. (Job 21:6) If some- 
times it frightens us to remember and trembling takes hold 
of our flesh when we think of our responsibilities, what 
trembling must finally take hold of those who eternally forget! 

On one occasion when the Holy Ghost fell upon Peter 
he said, "Then remembered I the word of the Lord, . . ." 
(Acts 11:16) What a wonderful ability! 

Physical amnesia can be caused by injury or disease, but 
spiritual amnesia can be brought about in practically the same 
way, and when we begin getting spiritually or morally sick, we 
should be particularly aware of the possibility of forgetful- 
ness, for when we forget our objectives, our duties and God; 
then, more or less automatically, we lose our greatest possibili- 
ties. Every time we forget to say our prayers, or forget to go 
to church, or forget to be honest, or forget God's standards 
of morality, priceless blessings are lost. Forgetfulness causes 
our lives to be overrun by ignorance, indecision and indiffer- 
ence, and no man can be saved in any of these. It is primarily 
our forgetfulness that causes the second death. Then we die 
as to things pertaining to righteousness and live on in the 
misery and torment of our sins. The greatest opportunity in 
the universe is to remember God and his righteousness and 
his holiness and to put every one of his teachings in force 
in our individual lives. 


IT HAS BEEN said that the greatest 
* discovery ever made is when 

man discovers God. God is the center of the universe, the 
Creator of worlds, the Father of spirits. As John says, "All 
things were made by him; and without him was not any thing 
made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the 
light of men" (John 1:3-5) 

God enlightens our minds and quickens our understand- 
ings. Every day he sends us energy, light and food from the 
sun. He is the author of law and the designer of our eternal 
exaltation. To really discover God is not merely to believe 
that he exists. We need to know the kind of being he is and 
what his purposes are. 

Daniel Webster once said that the greatest thought that 
can ever enter the mind of any man is the consciousness of 
his individual relationship and responsibility to God. But 
man's discovery of God helps him to make the second great- 
est discovery, and that is to discover himself. Because we are 
the children of God, created in his image and endowed with 
his attributes, God and man can best be studied together. 

Isn't it interesting that the thing that we know less about 
than almost anything else in the world is our own individual 
selves? You can ask a man questions about science, inven- 
tion or history and he will answer you. But if you ask him 
to write out an analysis of himself and tell you about his mind 
and soul qualities, you may not get a very good answer. Or 
ask a man where he came from, or why he is here, or what 
his eternal possibilities are. Before these questions he be- 
comes confused and uncertain. 

What a strange paradox that our age, known for its won- 
ders and enlightenment, should also be noted for its disbelief 


in God and its confusion about man. The most thrilling of 
all research is that devoted to understanding the family of 
our eternal Father, not only in their present, but we should 
also know something about their past and their future as 
well. Nothing in the scriptures could be plainer than the fact 
that the life of Jesus did not begin at Bethlehem, nor did it 
end on Calvary. The scriptures are equally plain that our 
lives did not begin at our mortal birth neither do they end at 
death. We had a long and important life before our mor- 
tality began. Many are still in the spirit world awaiting 
mortal experience. Billions of others have already returned 
to God from whom they came. We should also know some- 
thing about them, as they are now, what we ourselves have 
been and will be. 

The scriptures tell of a great group of beings called 
angels. The Apostle Paid speaks of an innumerable company 
of angels. (Heb. 12:22) A multitude of the heavenly host 
appeared upon the hills of Bethlehem over nineteen centuries 
ago. The scripture teaches the interesting and important 
fact that God, angels and men are all of the same species 
and together make up the eternal family. 

In April, 1843, the Prophet Joseph Smith received a 
revelation to the effect that all angels who minister to this 
earth are beings who do belong or have belonged to it. The 
revelation says, "The angels do not reside on a planet like 
this earth; But they reside in the presence of God, on a globe 
like a sea of glass and fire, where all things for their glory are 
manifest, past, present and future, and are continually before 
the Lord." (D&C 130:6-7) 

When God placed Adam upon the earth, angels were 
sent from God's presence to instruct him. Angels have con- 
tinued to minister to man upon the earth ever since. But 
we fail to believe in God, so we also fail to believe in angels, 
and our own past and our own future. It is fairly simple to 
believe that angels appeared on the Judean hills in that long 
ago Christmas night. It is easy to believe that there were 


angels in the days of Adam, Isaiah, and Abraham. But it 
is a little more difficult to believe in angels in the present or 
in the future. If we don't presently believe in angels, how 
are we going to explain what happened to those who lived 
in other ages? If they have ever existed, they must still 
exist, and make up an important part of our universe. 

The word angel comes from a Greek word meaning 
"messenger." For example, St. Luke records the announce- 
ment of the birth of Jesus as follows: 

". . . the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city 
of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man 
whose name was Joseph. . . . And the angel . . . said unto 
her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power 
of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that 
holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the 
Son of God/' 

The personal pronouns 'Tie" and Tinn" are used in re- 
ferring to this angel. Angels are not things or birds. Angels 
do not have wings any more than we do. Like all other 
angels this particular angel was an individual eternal being. 
He had a personality and a name. His name was Gabriel. 
He was a personage of great importance who had come from 
the presence of God. Some 2500 years previously, he him- 
self had lived upon the earth. He could speak, hear, under- 
stand and be understood. 

A few months later an angel appeared to the shepherds 
who were watching their flocks upon the Judean hills. The 
angel said to the shepherds: "Fear not: for, behold, I bring 
you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, 
which is Christ the Lord. AJnd this shall be a sign unto you; 
Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying 
in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a mul- 
titude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory 
to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward 


men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away 
from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, 
Let us now go even unto Bethlehem and see this thing 
which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known 
unto us." 

Apparently these angels knew a great deal about space 
travel, and many other things that we do not yet understand. 
The birth of the Savior of the world was just as important 
to those who had previously lived upon the earth, and to 
those who would yet live upon it, as it was to those who were 
then tabernacled in the flesh. These heavenly beings lived 
with God who is the source of all intelligence and power, 
and they themselves are clothed in his authority. 

While Jesus was being arrested, he declared that he could 
command twelve legions of angels to fight in his behalf. 
Just previous to the arrest an angel had been with Jesus in 
Gethsemane to comfort him during his awful agony. Angels 
are not mere shadows. They are as definite in form and as 
real as mortals. Angels attended Jesus at the tomb, they 
rolled away the stone that was too heavy for the women. 
They also made the announcement that Christ had broken 
the bonds of death. 

Then when Jesus was ready to ascend to heaven, Luke 
records as follows: "And when he had spoken these things, 
while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received 
him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly 
toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by 
them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, 
why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which 
is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like 
manner as ye have seen him go into heaven/' (Acts 1:9-11) 

These angels were called men, and they were men. They 
were in the form of men, with the features, bodily character- 
istics and personality traits of men. 


During the exile of John the Revelator on the Isle of 
Patmos he had a vision of an angel coming to the earth in 
our day. He said, "And I saw another angel fly in the midst 
of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them 
that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, 
and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, 
and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come/* 
(Rev. 14:6-7) 

In 1823 this angel appeared to the Prophet Joseph 
Smith in fulfillment of the revelator's prophecy. His name 
was Moroni. He had been a soldier and prophet, and had 
lived upon the Western Continent 1400 years previously. 
Joseph Smith said, "While I was thus in the act of calling 
upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which 
continued to increase until the room was lighter than at 
noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my 
bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch 
the floor. He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. 
It was whiteness beyond anything earthly I had ever seen; 
nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to 
appear so exceedingly white and brilliant. His hands were 
naked, and his arms also, a little above the wrist; so, also, 
were his feet naked, as were his legs, a little above the ankles. 
His head and neck was also bare. I could discover that he 
had no other clothing on but this robe, as it was open, so 
that I could see into his bosom. Not only was his robe ex- 
ceedingly white, but his whole person was glorious beyond 
description, and his countenance truly like lightning. The 
room was exceedingly light, but not so very bright as im- 
mediately around his person. When I first looked upon him, 
I was afraid; but the fear soon left me. He called me by 
name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent forth 
from the presence of God to me, and that his name was 
Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my 
name should be had for good and evil . . . among all people." 
(Joseph Smith 2:30-33) 


Then Moroni proceeded to give Joseph Smith instruc- 
tion about a volume of sacred scripture containing the ever- 
lasting gospel, and the Church presently has some 12,000 
full-time missionaries throughout the world, working without 
pay, teaching the gospel brought by Moroni in fulfillment 
of the prophecy of John the Revelator. Some may say that 
they do not believe, but if the angel spoken of by John did 
not come to Joseph Smith, then who did he come to, as the 
scriptures say that he must come? If Moroni was not a ful- 
fillment of John's prophecy, then we must look for another. 

Other angels have ministered upon the earth in our own 
day, including Elijah the prophet, who was taken into heaven 
without tasting death. Through Malachi the Lord had said, 
"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the com- 
ing of the great and dreadful day of the Lord/' There are 
many who believe the Bible account that Elijah was taken into 
heaven without tasting death who could not believe that he 
could come back the same way. 

On February 9, 1843 the Lord gave another interesting 
revelation to Joseph Smith saying, "There are two kinds of 
beings in heaven, namely: Angels who are resurrected per- 
sonages, having bodies of flesh and bones For instance, Jesus 
said, Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, 
as ye see me have. Secondly: The spirits of just men made 
perfect, they who are not resurrected, but inherit the same 
glory/' (D&C 129:1-3) The scriptures are literally full of 
prophecies having to do with the future ministrations of 
angels upon the earth. The work of the Lord is not yet fin- 
ished, and God has not gone out of business, and we are 
destined to see many wonderful things take place in the 

The angels at the ascension promised that this same 
Jesus should come again in the manner in which the apostles 
had seen him go into heaven. That is, his body did not 


evaporate after his resurrection, nor did it expand to fill the 
immensity of space, nor did it change to some other form. 

The Prophet Joseph Smith said, "When the Savior shall 
appear we shall see him as he is. We shall see that he is a 
man like ourselves." Other heavenly personages are also 
beings like ourselves. The Prophet said, "That same sociality 
which exists among us here will exist among us there, only 
it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not 
now enjoy." (D&G 130:1-2) 

The angel showed John the Revelator many wonderful 
things which were to come in the future. Then John said, 
"And I, John, saw these things, and heard them. And when 
I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet 
of the angel which showed me these things. Then saith he 
unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, 
and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep 
the sayings of this book: worship God." 

John mistook the angel for God because the angel was 
of the same order and also had great glory. 

What a thrilling thought that we may work at this 
greatest of all discoveries and discover our Heavenly Father, 
our own future destiny, and what we should do in our own 
eternal interests. 

Antonio Stradivari 

E OF THE most important parts 
of our success frequently comes 
through our study of biography. We seem to learn faster 
from people than from things or abstract ideas. In people 
we have an important visual aid, an actual working model 
where we can see success and failure ready-made. Fortunate- 
ly for us everyone has something to teach us. Jesus used 
the lives of people both good and bad to illustrate the great 
lessons of life. With substantial profit to ourselves, we can 
build on his example. 

The man whose name provides our present title was the 
master violin maker of the world. But once developed, ex- 
cellence can be made to carry over into every other part 
of life. The traits that will forever identify the name of 
Stradivari and make it a household word were his love of 
his job and his painstaking effort to give superiority to every 
work that his hands touched. If practiced that will also bring 
greatness, happiness and success to our own lives. 

Antonio was born in Cremona, Italy in 1644. He loved 
music, but he couldn't sing, and he couldn't play. But as a 
young boy someone made him a present of a jackknife, and 
because he had to do something, he whittled. Because An- 
tonio loved music his whittling was directed to producing 
little wooden violins. There have been a lot of whittlers in 
the world and some may have even whittled violins, but it 
was different with Antonio because he whittled perfect violins. 
To him whittling had a purpose far more important than a 
mere pastime, and every violin that his jackknif e touched had 
to be completely finished before he laid it down. 

It just happened that Cremona was also the home of the 
famous violin maker, Nicholas Amati. Then one day, one 


of Antonio's toy violins fell into Amati's hands. Nicholas 
knew that some extraordinary person had made it, for the 
man who loves his job always leaves distinguishing marks on 
whatever he does. As soon as Amati could find Antonio, 
Antonio began carving violins for the master. 

From the very beginning he was destined to be famous, 
for while Antonio was making violins, the violins were mak- 
ing Antonio. What one does and the way he does it, builds 
his character and forms in him a priceless philosophy of life 
that will distinguish him forever. Good work is important 
for many reasons. One is that it soon gets into the worker's 
muscles and attitudes and determines the kind of man he 
himself will be. 

The immortal football player Red Grange gave the 
reason for his success in five words. He said, **I practice like 
I play." Grange allowed no inferiority even during practice, 
for he knew that imperfections permitted during practice 
might reappear during the most important game. That was 
also the philosophy of Antonio. Even though he was making 
violins for someone else, yet he made them with his whole 
heart. He utilized to the full his God-given urge to excel. 
Antonio felt that he must make better violins than anyone 
else even including Amati himself, and that is exactly what 
he did. 

It has been said that in over 300 years not one of Stradi- 
varf s violins has ever been known to come to pieces or 
break because of poor workmanship. When Stradivari be- 
gan working for himself he needed no patent for his violins, 
for no other violin maker would pay as great a price for 
excellence as did Antonio. There was no point in writing his 
name on his work for it was already stamped in the superior- 
ity of every part of every instrument. And every Stradivarius 
now in existence is worth many times its weight in gold. 

Whatever our own work may be, we might well memor- 
ize Antonio's philosophy of life. He said: 


When any master holds 
Twixt hand and chin a violin of mine. 
He will be glad that Stradivari lived 
Made violins, and made them of the best. 

The masters only know whose work is good; 

They will choose mine, 

And while God gives them skill, 

I give them instruments to play upon, 

God choosing me to help him, 

For God could not make Antonio Stradivari's violins 

Without Antonio. 

A philosophy of excellence underlines and determines 
one of the most important principles of any success. Nicholas 
Latena lias said, "One may possibly be better than his repu- 
tation, but no one will ever be better than his principles." 
Life will grant us any desire that is built upon a sufficient 
love of what we are doing and supported by a firm determina- 
tion to do it well. This philosophy not only produces excel- 
lence in every accomplishment, but it also does away with 
worker fatigue and gives vigor and grace to life itself. 

By way of contrast we might look at the other side of 
the picture and take the measure of the man who doesn't 
love his job and consequently does it poorly. It has been 
said that some men looking for work quit looking the minute 
they find it. Instead of making love to what they are doing 
many people fight their jobs. 

Some time ago Look Magazine made a survey which dis- 
closed that 75 per cent of all workers hate their jobs. Many 
of them hate the companies they work for. They hate the 
people they work with. Many men hate their wives, and 
even hate God. Subconsciously this trait of hate becomes 
the distinguishing part of many lives. No matter what job 
or company or wife they select, it will not be long before 
dislike will be their dominant motive. This defect like all 
others is more in the hater than in the thing hated. When a 
hater changes jobs or wives or companies, he usually trans- 
fers his hates to a new location. 


Jesus pointed to love as the greatest of the command- 
ments, and to hate as one of the worst of the sins. When 
this ugly trait once gets a foothold in our lives, it is carried 
over into everything we do. Sometimes we live with it for 
a lifetime without being aware of the terrible things it does 
to us. 

There are many people who consciously or subconscious- 
ly adjust their lives so that they cannot escape the natural 
by-products of hate. There are some people who can't be 
happy with any job for more than a short time and so when 
they change jobs they merely repeat the process of dislike 
in a new location. In an unfamiliar situation it takes one's 
hate a little time to again build up to its full strength and 
then another move is made necessary. 

There are, of course, all degrees of this evil from open 
hostility down to mere boredom, but even in the smallest 
doses hate causes failure, unhappiness and sin. 

When one's love is not properly nourished, adjusted and 
focused, it causes him to go stale on the job. Then he be- 
comes like a child who can only maintain his interest in new 
toys, and he must be constantly changing playthings if he is 
to keep himself amused. Antonio worked only with wood 
and strings and glue, and yet he was never bored in making 
violins, and his job never lost its freshness nor its challenge. 

It has been said that the soul of the lover lives in the 
body of the object loved. When someone fails to develop 
a great love centered in something outside himself, then 
offense and hate grow quickly and tend to turn the hater sour 
and unsuccessful. 

I know a fine young man who worked for an excellent 
company. He was very enthusiastic and very successful for 
a few years. But his love became too much focused on him- 
self. At first this trait went unrecognized. Then a combina- 
tion of circumstances, including a little over-confidence, a 
little unscheduled relaxation of his effort and a little failure 


in his interest brought about a weakening in his effort. He 
subconsciously began to blame others for his decline. He 
made himself feel that his company and his friends delighted 
in opposing him. He hopelessly exaggerated in his own mind 
every unfavorable situation. 

Soon he was entertaining a most ridiculous set of un- 
truths. He took every occasion to dislike the company officers, 
and seemed to get a kind of sadistic pleasure out of his own 
hate, while all of the time he was the one being most seri- 
ously injured. Curses always recoil upon the head of him 
who set them in motion. 

Sometime ago a friend of mine was stung by a bee, and 
the bee left his stinger in my friend's arm. The sting hurt 
my friend but it killed the bee. Hate is always harder on 
the hater than on the hated. When we allow any amount of 
the poison of hate to be generated by us, it soon fills up our 
system until we can't take it any longer. 

We can solve almost every one of our problems by learn- 
ing to loveto love our jobs, to love the company we work 
for, to love the people we work with, to love life, to love ex- 
cellence, to love God. No one can fail to encounter prob- 
lems and differences of opinion who works with other people. 
But all of these problems can be solved. Of course we need 
to recognize that there are no perfect people in the world. 
Ever since time began, the work of the world has been done 
by imperfect men in an imperfect way, and will continue to 
be so done until time ends. If someone makes a mistake, it 
can usually be corrected if we maintain our love at proper 
strength. But if we get angry and allow our hate glands to 
start pumping poison, then we are lost. We increase this 
poisonous output by thinking about it, agitating its causes, 
giving voice to our unfavorable opinions about it, and trying 
to justify it. By these processes we can soon completely 
destroy our confidence in the best people, or in the best 
company, or in the government, or in the Church, or even 


in God himself, but the hater is always the one that is hurt 

How can anyone do good work for a company that he 
hates, or for leaders in whom he has lost confidence, or for 
associates for whom he has no regard, or for God whom he 
believes to be unfair. And one of the best ways to learn to 
love one's work is to follow the formula of Stradivari and do 
it the best that it can be done. The other is to follow Jesus' 
formula of love given in the two greatest commandments. It 
was Stradivari's business to build better violins. It is God's 
business to build better men and women with greater char- 
acter qualities, more determined faith, and more unwavering 
righteousness. And then he has invited us to have a part in 
the work in which he himself spends his entire time. What 
a tremendous advantage it would give us if we could de- 
velop a little better philosophy of life! 

In his inaugural address President John F. Kennedy said, 
"Never ask what your country can do for you, but rather 
what you can do for your country/' That man loves his 
country best who serves it most. That man loves God most 
who puts his own life in harmony with him, and who serves 
his fellow men as though his life depended upon it, as indeed 
it does. Antonio learned to love his job by doing superior 
work and that is the best way for anyone to bring about his 
own success. Instead of making so many prayers asking God 
to do things for us, we ought to make more of our prayers 
about the things that we can do for God, and then we ought 
to do those things with the same skill and enthusiasm that 
characterized Antonio Stradivari. We should turn out no 
shoddy work. 

The loafer in business or in the Church is always tired, 
and never very much in love with what he's doing. The 
one who cuts the corners of integrity or tries to cheat others 
never thinks very well of his company. The man who gets 
married and then gives his attention to other heart interests 


will never be very successful as a husband. And the man who 
joins the Church and then spends his time in a lot of little 
sins will never be very successful in his quest for eternal life. 

Stradivari's friend Naldo once tried to induce Antonio 
to try to make more money by turning out a greater number 
of violins. He argued that Antonio's painstaking efforts were 
undesirable. Naldo said, "Why work with such a painful 
nicety?" And Stradivari replied: 

My work is mine; 

If my hand slackend, I should rob God. 

I am one best 

Here in Cremona, using sunlight well 

To fashion finest maple till it serve 

More bunningly than throats 5 for harmony, 

Tis rare delight; I would not change my skill 

To be an Emporer with bungling hands, 

And lose my work which comes as natural 

As self at waking. 

We might all well say, "Hurrah for Stradivari!" We 
should then take a leaf out of his book and get his philosophy 
of life into our blood stream by making it a part of our own 
philosophy of life. Stradivari said that his violins were made 
for eternity, and that is exactly the period for which our lives 
are being fashioned. It is our business to make great lives, 
and that includes our own. 



HERE is a very interesting science 
called ballistics. It deals with 
the motion and impact of projectiles, especially those dis- 
charged from fire arms. One part of this science is very 
important in crime detection. Because each gun barrel is 
different, those bullets shot through it will be given a set of 
characteristic markings which may lead to the criminal. 

But this science of ballistics is not limited to the motion 
and impact of projectiles. It also has an application to the 
motion and impact of ideas and ideals. Out of this fact is 
born a kind of science, that we might call "mental ballistics/' 
or "spiritual ballistics." Minds are like guns and fingerprints 
in that they also have a set of characteristic markings. When- 
ever an idea is passed through the mind, the idea is marked 
by the mind, but the mind is also marked by the idea. Psychol- 
ogists says that every time an idea passes through the brain, it 
forms a particular groove or engram. When the same idea 
passes through the brain again, the groove is made a little 
deeper and more permanent. And our total mental develop- 
ment can be judged by the number and character of these 
engrams or wrinkles that our thinking process makes on the 
brain. Someone has challenged us by saying, "How would 
you like to create your own mind?" But isn't that just exactly 
what everyone is doing? William James said, "The mind is 
made up by what it feeds upon." If we feed our minds with 
the same kind of ideas that fed the minds of Emerson, Apostle 
Paul or Jesus then we might expect our minds to respond 
as did the minds of Emerson, Apostle Paul or Jesus. The 
traitor, the sinner, the ignorant, and the degenerate are all 
creating their own minds, just as do the patriots, the scholars, 
the workers and the saints. 


Someone has said that, "The mind, like the dyer's hand, 
is colored by what it holds." That is, if I hold in my hand 
a sponge full of purple dye, my hand becomes purple, and 
if I hold in my mind and heart great ideas of faith, devotion 
and righteousness, my whole personality is colored accord- 
ingly. On the other hand, if I hold in my mind thoughts of 
spite, dishonesty, idleness, and lust, my personality will take 
the color of what it holds. 

In the operation of this law we see some of our worst 
dangers as well as some of our greatest opportunities. The 
one who practices this science of ballistics is called a ballis- 
tician. An expert mental ballistician might be described as 
one skilled in devising effective programs of mind develop- 
ment by regularly passing the right kind of ideas through 
his own brain. The results of this science are certain. One 
cannot think big and be little. One cannot think righteously 
and be evil. When good ideas are run through the mind, 
the person will soon be distinguished for his goodness. Even 
when we rethink the great ideas of someone else, we will 
soon resemble the greatness of the man whose thoughts 
we are rethinking. The mind of a student soon assumes 
the characteristics of the mind of the teacher. Socrates left his 
marks upon Plato. Jesus stamped his impress upon Simon 
Peter. The operation of this law not only makes people 
think alike but it can even make them sound alike in their 
talk or even look alike. Children develop the family char- 
acteristics of speech and behavior. A mother and father 
who live together harmoniously may grow to resemble each 
other physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. 

We know of no greater rewards than those received by 
an expert ballistician whose program of reading, thinking and 
action makes the right kind of engrams in his mind. There- 
fore, to help ourselves become expert in this important field, 
suppose that in our mind's eye we place ourselves on an 
elevated balcony from which we can get a good view and 


exercise a firm control of everything that comes into our 
minds. Suppose that we not only carefully select the kind 
of ideas that will be admitted, but rigidly control their use 
thereafter. Our idea supply should come only from books, 
people and other sources of the highest quality; and there 
is plenty of raw material, for all of the ideas that have been 
well thought by others become our property. And the best 
mind is not necessarily the one who first discovers the greatest 
truth buFrather the one who puts it to its most effective use. 
Truth shows itself in its best form only when it is being lived. 
An expert ballistician first acquires truth and then makes it a 
part of his blood stream by thoroughly memorizing and prac- 
ticing it. Thus the pathway of uplifting ideals and powerful 
ideas becomes so easy to follow that a characteristic response 
on the highest level is more or less automatic. Solomon 
referred to this law when he said, "As a man thinketh, ... so 
is he." However, that is not true of those thoughts that 
touch our minds so lightly as to leave no imprint. Some 
ideas wear a land of snowshoe and leave a trail too indistinct 
for other ideas to follow. 

One way to give our ideas greater influence by getting 
good, deep engrams into our brains is to put our plans and 
thoughts down on paper. Before we write our ideas down 
we must think them through and get them more definitely 
organized in some usable form. Francis Bacon pointed out 
that "Reading makes a full man, . . . but writing makes an 
exact man/' Too much of our thinking is done on the same 
level that we use for our New Year's resolutions. They are 
usually so poorly prepared that only a few hazy ideas skate 
lightly across our polished brains, making almost no im- 
pression. If we would thoroughly work out the details of 
our plans, then make a permanent ymf-ten 

accomplishment timp. faf>1p. attarhp^ wf> w 1 ^ fi n ^ nnr New 
Year's resolutions and nil ^W r^nlnHn^s assuming a fg^r 

When we write our ideas down, it is 


like putting a bridle on them so as to make their intelligent 
guidance and direction possible. 

We can also greatly increase our thought control by 
memorizing. The constructive ideas, uplifting philosophies 
and great scriptural passages that we memorize make up our 
mental substance just as bricks make up the substance of a 
wall. And if we become effective in this important con- 
struction process we can build our lives to any specification. 
But action always follows the trail of a thought, and when 
we have a regular program of right thinking in sufficient 
depth, we can control the results of our lives. But when 
even the best ideas are allowed to skim too lightly over our 
minds, no path is left and confusion reigns. Without a good 
bridle even the best ideas may go in several directions. Then 
there is no central path to establish a main purpose in life. 
To bring the highest price, ideas, like anything else, must 
be sorted, graded, organized, harnessed, and utilized. Even 
good ideas need direction, for while they may all start out 
with good intentions, they are bound to cross the scent of 
some conflicting thoughts going in another direction, and 
any idea can be misled. A mind filled with unbridled thoughts 
might be compared to the inside of an atom where a large 
number of electrons are bouncing against each other and go- 
ing in all directions. When we fail to hold a tight rein on our 
thoughts, they may easily jump the track or go in circles or 
go down some dead end street. Sometimes one impulse tries 
to follow the scent of a half a dozen ideas at once. 

An interesting study in thought direction is illustrated 
when a number of people get together for a group conver- 
sation. The course of the discussion may run smoothly for 
a time, but soon it may be jumping rapidly from one subject 
to another so that no particular progress is being made. 
Lacking thought guidance a kind of barbed-wire entangle- 
ment of our engrams results and we get nowhere. Of course, 
it is very important that our ideas themselves are not indefi- 


nite, fractional, immature, infirm or unrighteous. But by 
constant planning and good mind management we may be- 
come more and more effective in the development and control 
of our thoughts. This can be brought about by a definite 
regular program of reading, writing, memorizing and prac- 
ticing so that we get the pathways through our minds clear 
enough and definite enough that our lives can be brought 
under our control. 

Of course, a good ballistician should make sure that 
the mind does not shirk its responsibility or engage in the 
questionable practices of rationalizing, offering excuses, or 
indulging in negative thinking. At the first sign of any men- 
tal trickery the reins should be tightened and the whip should 
be brought into play if necessary. 

As a young man on the farm I had a kind of demonstra- 
tion of this ballistics idea in irrigating a field of tomato plants 
where the furrows ran from east to west with the gradual 
slope of the land. But the field had its greatest grade from 
north to south. And because water always seeks out the 
path of least resistance, the water in one row would some- 
times find a weak place in the banks of its furrow and run 
at right angles to its prescribed course to join the water in 
the row next to it on its downhill side. The double amount 
of water thus accumulated in the second row could then 
more easily break its banks and both run into the third row. 
If someone were not on hand with a shovel to keep the ditch 
banks repaired and insist on each stream of water remaining 
in its proper channel, the individual small streams would 
soon gang up and run crosslots down through the field wash- 
ing a gully as they went. Of course, this downhill channel 
would make it impossible to get the water to do its assigned 
job in the rows, and consequently the plants beyond the gully 
would die for lack of nourishment 

But our minds also have some of these same character- 
istics. When they are not given proper attention and super- 


vision, they frequently center on the wrong things and soon 
the gullies caused by wrong drinking habits cut off all nour- 
ishment from the important areas that should be served by 
the mind. When the mind is short-circuited by a surge of 
contrary thoughts, it soon gets out of control. Then instead 
of resembling a well-irrigated, productive field, the irrespon- 
sible gullies use the mind's power for destructive ends. 

What a wonderful thing it would be if we could get the 
same control over our thoughts and feelings that we have 
over our body members. That is, if I tell my finger to bend, 
it bends. If I tell my foot to move, it moves. My legs can 
be depended upon to carry me to about any destination al- 
most automatically. But I don't have that kind of control 
over my will nor my enthusiasm nor my faith. I have a 
great deal more trouble managing my thoughts than I do 
managing my fingers. One of the probable reasons for this 
lack of mental control is that we improperly humor our 
minds and gratify those thoughts that clamor most loudly 
for our attention, rather than those that serve the most im- 
portant ends. Too often our thoughts are subject to the de- 
structive cross-currents of our fears, doubts, negative thinking 
and evil imaginations. Then when too many of these harm- 
ful gullies are running in the wrong direction, we lose control 
of the personality. An effective ballistician, like a good 
irrigator should keep things under sufficient control that he 
can use his thoughts to vitalize the useful plants at the very 
end of the mental row. 

Food can be purchased at the grocery store, but there 
is no central market place for self-control nor the attainment 
of effective idea management. Of course, the right kind of 
ideas do not come easily nor automatically. They have to 
be ensnared, impounded and preserved. Then each good 
idea that we capture and domesticate will introduce us to 
its friends and relatives. If you examine one idea closely 
you will usually find that it is holding another idea by the 


hand, and thus through one idea you may get acquainted 
with a whole family of interesting thoughts. 

One gold mine for great ideas is the holy scriptures. 
These are the ideas that an all-wise Heavenly Father has 
prescribed to serve our best interests. These especially 
should be loved, memorized, kept in good working condition 
and practiced. God wants us to become as he is. This re- 
quires that we should think as he thinks, and do as he does. 
We should live by every word that proceeds from the mouth 
of God. We should never allow doubts and fears to stam- 
pede our ideas out of their proper channels. But by organ- 
izing our thinking and by putting our ideas to work we may 
get the same discipline over our minds that we get over 
our body members. 

Then week after week as we sit on our mental balconies 
and direct our thought in the right kind of mental grooves, 
we may give our lives purpose as we stamp them with the 
characteristics of productivity and godliness. 

Be Ye Therefore Perfect 

T"HE greatest sermon ever delivered 
' is almost universally identified as 

the one given by Jesus called "The Sermon on the Mount." 
For some time previously Jesus had been going about the 
countryside teaching in the synagogues and healing all man- 
ner of diseases among the people. The number of his fol- 
lowers had become very great. A vast multitude had gathered 
from Galilee, DecapoHs, Jerusalem, Judea and even from 
beyond the Jordan, and then Jesus led them up into the 
Mount where he taught them the great truths contained in 
this most important of all discourses. 

This sermon probably reached its highest point when 
Jesus said to the people, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as 
your Father which is in heaven is perfect." When carefully 
considered, this statement has always had an important im- 
pact upon human thought and personality. In fact, ever 
since this statement was made, it has been a source of great 
wonder among thoughtful men and women. The people to 
whom it was spoken were aware even as we are aware of 
the poor, weak, sinful natures of most mortals. As the 
Apostle Paul reminded the Romans "All have sinned, and 
come short of the glory of God/' (Romans 3:23) 

The people who listened to Jesus on the mountainside 
that day knew that their lives were far below the standard 
of perfection maintained by their Father in heaven. There 
had been a continual demonstration of weakness and sin even 
among the closest disciples of Jesus. Even Peter was weak 
and possessed those traits that on the very eve of the cruci- 
fixion would cause him to deny the Master. Thomas was a 
doubter and other disciples had done things of which they 
were not very proud. There were dishonesties, disloyalties 


and immoralities in many hearts. Matthew says that many 
sinners sat at meat with Jesus. (Matthew 9:10) And it was 
a matter of public inquiry as to why Jesus associated so 
freely with publicans and sinners. (Matthew 9:11) Cer- 
tainly this association with imperfect people was not acci- 
dental, as the mission of Jesus was to save sinners. And on 
the mount it was an ordinary group of weak, ignorant, sinful, 
though well-meaning men and women, who heard Jesus say, 
"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in 
heaven is perfect." 

This statement must have been something of a shock 
to them, as it is something of a shock to us when we under- 
stand the importance of the tremendous standard set up by 
the Savior. Yet this high goal must always be the final ob- 
jective of our lives. Our Father in heaven is the most intelli- 
gent and the most righteous being in the universe. He is a 
member of the highest order of existence. He has the highest 
sense of values, the best personality development, and the 
greatest capability for happiness. Jesus was saying that we, 
the offspring, should be like God the parent. God himself 
has been trying to bring us to this place since "the beginning," 
and anyone who in eternity attains the highest degree of 
glory must qualify to live in God's presence. No other goal 
could possibly equal this. 

The most thrilling idea in the world is that we are the 
literal children of God, created in his image and endowed 
with his potentialities. The laws of inheritance indicate that 
if we are faithful, we may some time hope to become even 
as God is. We should cling to our birthright. There is every- 
thing in remembering our heritage and constantly reaffirming 
it in our lives. Jesus held this goal up before us, that we 
might take appropriate action. However, he probably did not 
intend that this goal should be fully reached in this life. But 
there is much more to life as God knows it than the three 
score years and ten that belong to mortality. 


But even in this life we may reach a state of near per- 
fection in some areas. For example, anyone can be perfect 
in abstaining from tea and coffee. We can be perfect in free- 
ing ourselves from the use of tobacco and intoxicating liquor. 
We can be perfect in the payment of our tithing. We can 
be perfect in our attendance at sacrament meeting. We can 
be perfect in our punctuality. We can be perfectly honest, 
and perfectly dependable and perfectly moral. 

Suppose that we make up a list of those things in which 
we can reach near perfection today. Then as we achieve 
perfection in these goals, new possibilities will present them- 
selves. As our accomplishment grows, our nearness to per- 
fection will increase. 

It has been said that making our way toward perfection 
is like climbing a mountain. We master them both in sec- 
tions. How well I remember the first mountain I climbed 
as a boy. As I stood at its foot, the top of the first steep 
ascent seemed to me to be the top of the mountain. I could 
see nothing beyond, as the second section was completely 
hidden behind the first. However, when I reached the top 
of the first section, I saw a new expanse of mountain stretch- 
ing out before me. This process was repeated several times 
before the top of the mountain was finally attained. But all 
success has some of these characteristics. Success has a kind 
of extension ladder arrangement. When you reach the top 
of one section, another section is pushed up to be climbed. 
Later in life when I read Alexander Pope's essay in which 
he referred to climbing the Alps, I knew exactly what he 
was talking about. He said: 

So pleas'd at first the towering Alps we try, 
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky, 
Th* eternal snows appear already past, 
And the first clouds and mountains seem the last: 
But, those attained, we tremble to survey 
The growing labors of the lengthened way; 
Th* increasing prospect tires; our wand'ring eyes, 
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise! 


That process also bears some similarity to our lives. 
President Joseph F. Smith gives us this interesting account 
of his own spiritual progress. He said, "When I as a boy first 
started out in the ministry, I would frequently ask the Lord 
to show me some marvelous thing, in order that I might re- 
ceive a testimony. But the Lord withheld marvels from me, 
and showed me the truth, line upon line, precept upon pre- 
cept, here a little and there a little, until he made me to 
know the truth from the crown of my head to the soles of 
my feet, and until doubt and fear had been absolutely 
purged from me. He did not have to send an angel from 
the heavens to do this. ... By the whisperings of the still 
small voice of the Spirit of the living God, he gave to me 
the testimony which I now possess." (Gospel Doctrine, 1928 
ed., page 9) 

During the Golden Age of Greece, Pericles said that 
no one had a right to fill an important office until he had 
first served with distinction in a number of smaller offices. 
Too frequently we want to so some great thing before we 
have perfected ourselves in doing little things well. 

One prize fighter said to another, "If I were a great 
big man like you, I would become the champion heavyweight 
prize fighter of the world." His friend said, "If I were a little 
man like you, I would become the champion lightweight prize 
fighter of the world." Before we apply for admittance to any 
heavyweight championship bouts in life, we should have won 
a few lightweight championships. We should make ourselves 
worthy of our opportunities. The best way to become a great 
soul in heaven is to practice being a great soul here. If one 
believes that honesty is better than dishonesty, then he should 
immediately begin practicing it, not just in big things but 
also in little things. And it will not be long before new fields 
of opportunity will have opened up before him. Emerson 
said, "Do the thing and you shall have the power." 


Jesus said, "He that doeth my will shall know of the 
doctrine/' Only as we live the principles of the gospel can 
we really know of their truthfulness. It is the person who 
pays his tithing who believes in tithing. It is the one who 
observes the Word of Wisdom who knows the value of the 
Word of Wisdom. It is the person who keeps the Sabbath 
day holy who champions it. And it is the person who gives 
service who knows the joys of serving. As we climb the 
mountain, one section after another presents itself to be 
mastered. If we can live one gospel principle perfectly today 
we can live two principles perfectly tomorrow. Perfection 
in one thing will act as a steppingstone to perfection in some- 
thing else. 

The famous "as if" principle of William James might 
supply us with some good supplementary reading for the 
Sermon on the Mount. Mr. James said that if you want a 
quality, act "as if" you already had it. That is, if you want 
to be friendly, act "as if" you were already friendly. If you 
want to be courageous, act "as if" you were already cour- 
ageous. Don't go around imitating cowards or indulging in 
negative, unchristian thinking. If you want to be faithful, 
act "as if" you are already faithful. Do the things that faith- 
ful people do. Go to church, say your prayers, study the 
scriptures, be honest with yourself, and everyone else. Act 
"as if" you were a true-blue follower of Christ. Near per- 
fection is very easy once we really get the spirit of it. 

There are some people who maintain that it is difficult 
to live the religion of Christ. And to live their religion is 
next to impossible for some people. But what kind of a per- 
son would you expect to have difficulty in abstaining from 
liquor? Or what kind of a person would you expect to be 
tempted by dishonesty or immorality or the use of profanity? 
One who experiences the greatest temptation from evil would 
likely be the one most familiar with evil. We are not paying 
ourselves compliments when we confess how difficult it is 
for us to live the simple principles of our religion, any more 


than we would be paying ourselves compliments to say we 
were having difficulties in restraining ourselves from robbing 
banks or being disloyal to our country. It is very difficult for 
an unfaithful person to be faithful. It is very hard to live 
one's religion if he has never lived it before. It is very difficult 
to be a non-smoker this week if you have always been a 
smoker previously. It is extremely difficult for an alcoholic 
to be a non-drinker. It is very difficult to be moral if you 
have always been immoral. 

But it is just as easy for an industrious man to be in- 
dustrious as it is for a lazy man to be lazy. We become godly 
or industrious or obedient just as we become anything else 
by practice. That is what Jesus was recommending when he 
said "Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is 
in heaven is perfect/* It is very easy for God to live his 
religion, anything else would be difficult or impossible for 
God. And if we want to follow his pattern and obey God, 
we should act "as if* we were already obedient. Then we 
will think obedience and love obedience and allow no ex- 
ceptions to obedience. The fewer exceptions to perfection, 
the nearer we get to perfection. 

It is interesting to know that there have been many 
perfect and near perfect people live upon the earth. Of 
course, Jesus is the great example of perfection. But the 
Book of Genesis says "that Noah was a just man and perfect 
in his generation." It also says, "And Noah walked with. God/' 
Noah practiced perfection. The scriptures tell us that Enoch 
was also a perfect man. In fact, he was so perfect that he and 
his entire city were translated and taken up from the earth. 
The record says, "And Enoch walked with God: and he was 
not; for God took him/* (Gen. 5:18-24) Modern-day revela- 
tion tells us that Enoch's great city was called "the city of 
holiness/' The record says, "And the Lord called his people 
Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and 
dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them/' 
(Moses 7: 18) 


The scriptures not only tell us that the city of Enoch was 
taken up into heaven, but that when the earth is restored to 
its perfect state, Enoch and his translated city will rejoin 
us upon the earth with great rejoicing. The Lord said unto 
Enoch, ". . . Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them 
there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they 
shall see us, and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall 
fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other/* (Moses 

It is important to work for perfection here, but life con- 
tinues its prescribed course beyond the boundaries of this 
life. We know that we take our abilities, our records, and 
our personalities with us into eternity, and the good lives that 
we have lived here may be continued there. Our knowledge, 
our loves, and our abilities to learn and to enjoy also go 
with us beyond the grave. 

Death is also a step in our progress and is as much a 
part of God's program for our perfection as is life, and there 
are some things looking toward perfection that can best be 
done while the spirit and the body are temporarily separated. 
As the finishing school for our perfection our spirits will be 
cleansed, purified, educated, and glorified in such a way as 
to be fully qualified for God's presence. With him the faith- 
ful children of God will realize that final objective of life 
held up before us by Jesus in the greatest of all sermons 
wherein he said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father 
which is in heaven is perfect/' 

The Chance World 

A A ANY YEARS ago someone wrote an 
' V * interesting book with the fasci- 
nating title of The Chance World. It described a world in 
which everything happened by chance. The sun might come 
up in the morning or it might not. If it did not come up, it 
might appear at any hour of the day or night, or the moon 
might show up instead. If you jumped up into the air, you 
might come down, or you might keep on going, and there 
was no way of telling what would happen beforehand. 

If you planted a field of wheat, it might come up wheat, 
or it might come up barley, or asparagus, or rose bushes or 
apples trees. You might be born with one head or a dozen; 
and they might be located on your shoulders or in some 
other place. What happened yesterday would be no indi- 
cation of what might happen under the same circumstances 
today. There was no reaction pattern for anything that could 
be depended upon. Gravitation, electricity, light and heat 
were free to change their performance from hour to hour. 
Today the weight of a man's body might be so light that it 
would be impossible to get it down to the ground. But to- 
morrow some unexpected force might drive it into the center 
of the earth. In this chance world, cause and effect were 
unknown, and law had never been established. To the in- 
habitants of such a world, order would be unknown and 
reason would be impossible. It would be a lunatic world 
with a population of lunatics. 

This situation may seem very strange, and yet there 
are people who in many ways claim to believe in a chance 
world. They believe that even human life itself is a result 
of blind chance; that man's great brain just happened to grow 
in such a way that it could solve the problems of the world. 


That his eyes gained their miraculous power of vision as a 
result of chance, and that the wonders of hearing, thinking 
and understanding all just happened. 

Try to imagine the billions of worlds hurtling through 
space at different rates of speed, going in different directions; 
all maintaining perfect order with nothing in control. We 
know that if the earth should deviate in its rotation by just 
a few degrees, the polar icecap would be on top of us. Or 
if the variation should be in the other direction, or if the 
earth should spin around for a few days with one side always 
toward the sun, the earth would catch fire. What a universal 
pile-up we would have if we had only chance at the steering 
wheel of the universe! 

Probably the most important lesson that we ever need 
to learn in life is that we do not live in a chance world. 
We live in a world governed by laws, all of which may be 
known in advance. What a wonderful satisfaction that we 
live in a world where no one will ever have his intellect in- 
sulted or his conscience abused because of a capricious na- 
ture. The acts of nature are bound by law from which they 
cannot deviate. If you release your hold on a heavy sus- 
pended object, it will fall. It has no other choice. It must 
strictly obey the law ordained to govern its existence. Water 
will freeze at 32 Fahrenheit and boil at 212 and it cannot 
do otherwise. We may know that the great forces of gravi- 
tation, electricity, light, cause and effect, rewards and punish- 
ments, growth and decay, progress and retrogression will 
never be out of date. Man is a rational being, and has been 
given a pledge by creation that he may depend upon nature 
for the exact result that nature has previously led him to 
expect. Man is also a moral being, and he may know that 
the God of nature and physical law is also the God of heaven 
and spiritual law, that law and order obtains in the spiritual 
realm with the same fidelity as it does in the physical and 
mental worlds. We know that God will continue to be the 
same yesterday, today and forever, and that any man willing 


to learn, and obey the rules can bring about any desired bless- 
ing. And we also bring our own woes upon ourselves when 
we fail to understand and be governed by law. This is one 
of the most important ideas in life. 

It is fairly simple to understand that if we jump over 
the cliff, we may expect to go down and not up. We know 
what will happen if we throw ourselves into a vat of boiling 
steel, or put our bodies in contact with high tension electric 
power lines. But we do not always have the same respect for 
the spiritual laws, because the rewards and penalties may be 
deferred, but they are not a bit less certain. That is, we can 
absolutely depend on the mental law that says, "As a man 
thinketh in his heart, so is he." Though the changes are 
more gradual, yet from this law there can be no deviation, 
nor is there any way for anyone to set it aside. 

Paul made an excellent statement of fact to the Gala- 
tians when he said, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: 
for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For 
he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; 
but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life 
everlasting." (Gal. 6:7-8) 

Jesus had the same idea in mind when he said, **. . . For 
of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush 
gather they grapes/* (Luke 6:44) The application of this 
law is just as dependable in the spiritual realm as in the 
physical. In neither place do these laws change. James says, 
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and 
cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no 
variableness, neither shadow of turning." (James 1:17) 

But to hope that some capricious chance will start grapes 
growing on bramble bushes is no more unlikely than to hope 
that chance can create intelligence or bring harmony and 
order in the world. 

The story is told of a guide who was conducting an athe- 
ist through the great St. Paul's cathedral. During the tour 


the atheist asked the guide who the builder of the cathedral 
was. The guide, hoping to teach the atheist a lesson said, 
"One of the very strange things about this cathedral is that 
there was no builder. I just awoke one morning and found 
the cathedral standing here/' Is it any easier to believe that 
a cathedral of brick and cement, stained glass windows and 
steeples, altars and pews could come into existence by itself 
than to believe that the great miracle of flesh and blood, vision 
and energy, voice and understanding, intelligence and per- 
sonality that we call a human being could form itself out 
of nothing with no one to give it direction? 

Anciently it was believed that life generated spontane- 
ously. Now we know that to be untrue. We now know that 
all life must come from some life already in existence. We 
also know that our life came from God, that he is our Father, 
and according to the natural laws of procreation, the off- 
spring may ultimately hope to become like the parent. We 
also know that it requires time, sunshine, moisture and plant 
food to develop an oak from an acorn. It also requires time 
and understanding to use effectively the laws of chemistry, 
engineering or medicine. An investment of effort and study, 
faith and righteous conduct are required to bring our own 
eternal possibilities up to their maximum. However, we do 
not need to know all of the reasons why something is so in 
order to get its benefits. 

Someone has pointed out that Newton did not discover 
gravity. Actually gravity has not yet been discovered. All 
that Newton discovered were some of the laws of gravity, 
indicating how gravity might be profitably used. These laws 
tell us nothing about the origin, cause or nature of this mys- 
terious power of gravity. 

We don't need to know everything about electricity in 
order to have light and heat in our homes. Neither do we 
need to understand all about electricity in order to electro- 
cute ourselves. We don't understand very much about sun- 


light, and yet we are able to harness its benefits merely by 
understanding and obeying its laws. 

Neither do we know all about why or how God carries 
out the divine program, but we can understand his laws of 
faith, repentance, baptism, prayer, eternal marriage, honesty, 
and the results that come from obedience to these great laws. 
Someone said, "I will not believe anything that I do not 
understand." If we did not believe anything unless we fully 
understood it, our lists of beliefs would be extremely short, 
for we don't understand birth, or life, or death, or vision, or 
how the grass grows, or what heat or light or coal or fire is. 
We don't understand how we breathe, how our nervous sys- 
tem works, nor what makes our heart beat. We didn't even 
discover the circulation of our own blood until Harvey's time, 
a little over 300 years ago. Certainly we do not understand 
all of the spiritual laws, yet we can readily know what they 
are, and we can use them to develop character and spiritual- 
ity and thereby bring about our eternal exaltation. We know 
that if we jump off a high cliff, or hug a million volts of elec- 
tricity, or drink poison, or put fire into the gasoline tank, we 
can be fairly sure of trouble. It is just as certain that by a 
violation of the spiritual laws, we can bring eternal damna- 
tion upon ourselves. 

Every child knows that if he wants a harvest of wheat, 
he must plant wheat; not rye nor barley nor oats. If we want 
to become like God we must follow the law designed to make 
us like God. If we expect to live in the Celestial Kingdom, 
we must abide the laws of the Celestial Kingdom. We must 
not expect that our world will be changed into a chance 
world to enable us to evade the natural penalties of our 
deeds. Neither should we expect that God will make his 
own laws inoperative merely because we have disregarded 

The great lesson we must learn in life is that we do not 
live in a chance world. Almost more than anything else we 


need to learn that God is not the author of confusion. God 
is unalterably opposed to sin, which is the transgression of law. 
God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. 
He knows that unhappiness and degradation always come 
to the life that tolerates evil in any of its forms. The universe 
and everything in it is governed by law and our success in 
every field is determined by how well we understand and 
obey the eternal principles regulating each particular accom- 

A successful farmer works in harmony with the laws 
of God which says that there must be a proper seed bed, good 
seed, sufficient moisture and fertility if a good crop is to be 
expected. If a farmer violates the law and plants his corn 
in the chill of a December blizzard, he may expect failure 
because the laws of successful farming are working against 
him. If a child of God violates the Ten Commandments 
and orders his life in opposition to the Sermon on the Mount, 
he may similarly expect failure. 

The books of every individual life must be balanced and 
the greatest mistake that anyone can make is to imagine 
that in our spiritual affairs the laws and the records will be 
done away with. We cannot sow tares and reap wheat. The 
wages of sin is death. We cannot sow evil and reap good. 
We cannot devote ourselves to evil and hope that a chance 
world will provide a happy ending. God's law abideth for- 
ever. It is the perfect plan for our eternal exaltation. It 
involves a faithful obedience to the great laws of repentance, 
baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, It includes the de- 
velopment of faith, honesty, character and godliness. It re- 
quires the proper care of our bodies, minds and spirits, 
obedience to the laws of eternal marriage, and all of the 
other important principles and ordinances given by God for 
our benefit. If we will take the pains to be informed, and 
then obey the rules, a glorious destiny will be a certainty. 

Covenant Makers 

THE DICTIONARY gives some interest- 
' ing meanings for the word "cove- 
nant/' A covenant is primarily an agreement between two 
or more persons or parties aimed at accomplishing a certain 
end. A covenant may also have legal, social, business or 
religious significance. 

The Bible tells of a covenant of friendship made be- 
tween David and Jonathan. (I Sam. 18:3) Shakespeare said, 
"Let there be covenants drawn between us/' There are 
marriage covenants and political covenants. The charter of 
the United Nations is a covenant with a great many articles 
describing the rules and procedures for the conduct of that 
organization's affairs. In its religious meaning a covenant 
pertains primarily to the promises of God contained in the 
holy scriptures and based on a condition of man's faithfulness. 
Those entering into covenants bind themselves by contracts, 
promises, oaths or vows to carry out the course previously 
agreed upon. 

One of the most effective ways for our improvement is to 
become better covenant makers and better covenant keepers. 
In a religious sense we need what those in law school might 
call a good course in contracts. No one lives by himself or for 
himself alone. The activities of every individual are so in- 
volved with that of the Creator and other people that con- 
fusion would reign unless we had an understanding with 
an agreement, that each should perform in good faith what 
had previously been agreed upon. 

Some time ago the chairman of the board of one of our 
most successful national business organizations said that 40% 
of the time of their executive officers was spent in what he 
called communication. They were trying to make sure that 


all concerned had a clear understanding of the ambitions, 
procedures and objectives for which this company was or- 
ganized. This corporation also had skilled supervisors and 
trainers to help each one to successfully carry his share of 
the responsibility. 

About this same procedure is involved in having a good 
government. Since the beginning of time, tribes and nations 
have made treaties outlining the conditions under which they 
hoped to live peaceably and successfully together. When 
no clear understanding exists or when treaties are not kept, 
serious trouble always follows. 

Some time ago an article in the C7. S. News and World 
Report described 52 agreements that had been made by the 
Russians in the previous 22 years. Fifty of these had al- 
ready been broken. It was expected that the other two 
would be broken as soon as it served communist interest to 
do so. Such a lack of dependability on either side of an 
agreement makes any success impossible. To make agree- 
ments in bad faith or to go back on one's word is a serious 
violation of honor, and lies at the root of almost all of the 
troubles of nations, families and individuals. Utopia would 
be just around the corner if unquestioned integrity always 
existed between seller and buyer, teacher and student, friend 
and friend, neighbor and neighbor, nation and nation, God 
and man. All success is primarily a matter of making and 
then honoring the right kind of covenants. For example, if 
one entering military service or becoming a citizen of the 
United States hopes to be successful, he first finds out what 
his duties, privileges, authority and responsibilities are. Then 
he takes the oath of office or the Pledge of Allegiance or is 
sworn in as a citizen. And both sides have a right to know 
in advance what the purpose and performances of the other 
will be. 

When two people decide to enter the marriage relation- 
ship, certain promises are made which are based on the 
right and the mutual welfare of both. The parties agree 


to love, honor and serve each other. Each accepts the 
responsibilities as well as the privileges covered by their 
agreement. The marriage contract requires that children 
must be fed, clothed, taught and prepared for their life's 
work and eternal happiness. No one under covenant is 
irresponsibly free to go his own way or to do as he pleases. 
His personal activities must thereafter be restricted. For 
example, when one is sworn in as President of the United 
States he takes an oath of office. He commits himself to 
loyalty, truth and faithfulness and thereafter he must do and 
refrain from doing certain things. 

But anyone who aspires to any accomplishment must 
also make commitments. Without commitments life loses 
much of its meaning. An uncommitted life is comparatively 
shallow, empty and unfruitful. For how could one hope to be 
a good citizen or a successful father or a profitable child of 
God who refused to commit himself? What would it mean to 
remain forever uncommitted to truth, family, country, self 
and God? It takes careful thought and wise planning to 
make a covenant, and once made these commitments are 
sacred and must be kept A covenant breaker is called by 
the unpleasant names of traitor, betrayer, falsifier, or son of 

Our final success depends upon the commitments we 
make to honor, and the integrity with which they are carried 
out. The greatest conception of freedom is the acceptance 
of individual responsibility and an affirmation and devotion 
to our covenants and our self-imposed limitations. To this 
end we make sacred pledges, take holy vows and make 
promises of faithfulness. We also need the supporting com- 
radeship of other vow makers. Someone has said that this 
world is too dark and cold to remain indefinitely on lonely 
picket duty by ourselves. We need what William Adams 
Brown calls the fellowship of the hopeful. But we also need 
individually to commit ourselves to truth, our families, our 
fellow men and our God. 


A firm commitment is the highest expression of Ameri- 
canism. It is the highest expression of success. It is the 
highest expression of religion. The most important ques- 
tion is not, can we trust the Russians or can we trust the 
Chinese or the Cubans, but, "Can we trust ourselves?" and 
can God trust us. Of course, before we make a commitment 
we need to make up our minds about our goals in life. Then 
we make a covenant which is a kind of performance bond 
that we will be faithful to our partners, our customers, our 
family, our country and most important of all to our Creator 
and the provider of our blessings. God also has a right 
to hear our commitments. More than anyone else he is in- 
volved in our lives. He is our Father. He created us. He 
enlightens our minds and quickens our understandings. It 
is his work to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life. 

To make a successful religious covenant it is necessary 
that we believe in God. It is also helpful if God believes 
in us. Long ago God committed himself to those eternal 
principles of right from which he does not deviate. Because 
of the limitations he has placed upon his own acts, he cannot 
lie or cheat or engage in evil or go back on his word. He 
makes no compromises with wrong and cannot look upon 
sin with the least degree of allowance. What a wonderful 
situation we would place ourselves in if we would always 
carry out our vows with a similar determination. 

Of course this life is not the beginning of our association 
with our Heavenly Father and we made some important 
covenants with God before this world began. Nothing in 
the scriptures could be plainer than the fact that the life of 
Christ did not begin at Bethlehem, nor did it end on Calvary. 
It is equally plain in the scriptures that we lived for a 
long period before our mortality began. Our present 
lives were planned under God's direction in the pre-earth life. 
Then we walked by sight. Now we must learn to walk a 
little way by faith. It was known in advance that because 
of free agency many would sin and that this life would be a 


place of sickness, and death, sorrow and disease, bloodshed 
and heartbreak. We knew that in some degree all would 
come short of the glory of God. Therefore a Redeemer was 
provided for us who Peter says, "was foreordained before 
the foundation of the world/' (I Peter 1:20) We not only 
had a part in the Savior's appointment as the mediator of 
the new and everlasting covenant (Hebrews 12:24), but 
with him we also made a covenant of faithfulness. 

There is an old tradition that has been handed down 
to the effect that in the pre-earth life we made a covenant 
with each other that if we were successful in finding the 
straight and narrow way to eternal life, we would do all 
in our power to make it known to our brothers and sisters. 
As soon as man was placed upon the earth God renewed the 
heavenly covenant. Adam and Eve and their posterity were 
taught the importance of living those eternal principles of 
truth which had already been established and accepted in 

This eternal covenant has been re-established at various 
times from Adam until now. Sometimes the people have 
been true to their agreements but sometimes their viola- 
tions have brought wars, floods, sickness, poverty, confusions 
and spiritual darkness upon themselves. 

When the Son of God came into the world in the 
meridian of time to atone for our sins, he also established 
the new and everlasting covenant. Then in order to bring 
its importance to the attention of everyone, Jesus sent out 
his missionaries, saying to them, "Go ye into all the world 
and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth 
and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall 
be damned." By this process every individual is given the 
opportunity to make a personal covenant with God. 

In the interests of our covenants, God has given us in 
our own day one of the most unusual of all books called the 
Doctrine and Covenants. It is a modern volume of scripture 


containing revelations given specifically for our day. A "doc- 
trine" is a statement of one of the fundamental principles 
on which our eternal exaltation rests. It is something for 
us to understand, believe in, live by, and make commitments 
about. A "covenant" is an agreement with God in which the 
opportunities and responsibilities of each party are made 
clear and accepted. This book is filled with the most won- 
derful promises made for our acceptance and leading to 
our eventual exaltation. 

We frequently speak of being born under the covenant. 
Of course everyone is born under that covenant made in our 
pre-earth life. But those born to parents who have made 
certain important vows in this life are in a special way born 
heirs to God's blessings on condition of obedience. These 
parents are committed to start their children out with an 
advantage by teaching them righteousness in their youth. 
Then as the child reaches the age of accountability, he re- 
affirms the covenant and makes an individual commitment 
of his own. He enters the waters of baptism and covenants 
with the Lord to be faithful throughout his life. We make 
covenants at the Sacrament table. We make covenants 
when we receive the priesthood. There is a wonderful 
statement recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants in which 
it is said, "And ... all they who receive this priesthood 
receive me, saith the Lord; For he that receiveth my servants 
receiveth me; And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father; 
And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father's king- 
dom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto 
him. And this is according to the oath and covenant which 
belongeth to the priesthood. Therefore all those who re- 
ceive the priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of my 
Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved. 
But whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, 
and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness 
bf sins in this world nor in the world to come. . . . And I now 
give unto you a commandment to beware concerning your- 


selves, to give diligent heed to the words of eternal life." 

(D&C 84:35-43) 

In the Lord's instruction on eternal marriage he said: 
"For behold, I reveal unto you a new and everlasting cove- 
nant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; 
for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter 
into my glory. For all who will have a blessing at my hands 
shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, 
and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before 
the foundation of the world. And as pertaining to the new 
and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of 
my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and 
shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord 
God." (D&C 132:4-6) 

That sounds as though the Lord is in dead earnest about 
his covenants, and we pray that he may help us to realize the 
importance of making and keeping ours. 

Damon and Pythias 


HAVE often been reminded of 
the advantages of filling our 
minds with good ideas. As we read the world's great litera- 
ture, we tend to absorb the best from the lives of others and 
use it for our own uplift. We ought to put on our magnify- 
ing glasses occasionally and then very earnestly read the 
great success stories of the world, such a course would fill our 
minds with the spirit of real achievement. 

The quality of our lives would also be greatly increased 
if we read the world's great love stories more frequently. 
Who could fail to be thrilled by recalling the experiences that 
ripened the love between David and Jonathan? Their com- 
mon bond of friendship and trust strikes one of the high notes 
of the scriptures. The Bible says "The soul of Jonathan was 
knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his 
own soul" (I Samuel 18:1) 

Many people have had their lives lifted above the ordi- 
nary by a recital of the Bible story of Ruth and Naomi. After 
Ruth's husband had died, her widowed mother-in-law tried 
to get her to return to her own people, and begin life anew 
with them. But Ruth said to Naomi, ". . . Intreat me not to 
leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither 
thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: 
thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God . . . the 
Lord do so to me and more also, if ought but death part thee 
and me." (Ruth 1:16-17) 

We can find other great vicarious experiences to fill 
our various needs. One of the most worthwhile satisfactions 
that ever comes to any human being is the feeling of absolute 
confidence in the integrity and ability of someone he loves. 
And to get this feeling vicariously is second only to the real 


There is a stimulating old Roman legend about two fa- 
mous friends who lived in the ancient city of Syracuse in 
Sicily, about 400 B.C. Their names were Damon and Pythias. 
The tyrant King Dionysius, who ruled Syracuse at the time, 
unjustly condemned Damon to death because he had been 
falsely accused of plotting against the king. Damon begged 
for three days of time in which to put his affairs in order 
before his death. He also desired to attend the wedding of 
his sister, who lived at a considerable distance away. 

The cynical old king had heard of the unusual friendship 
existing between Damon and Pythias, but he did not believe 
that such a love and loyalty could exist between two friends 
as that which was reported to be binding Damon and Pythias 
together. The king decided that this would be a good op- 
portunity to test their feelings for each other, and so he told 
Damon that he would grant the three-day stay of execution 
if Pythias would stand as his surety, and agree to die in his 
place if Damon did not return. 

Damon told Pythias what the king said, and Pythias 
promptly presented himself at court to be bound in Damon's 

In attending to his affairs Damon had to travel over some 
very rough country, but by the morning of the third day he 
had wound up his business and was returning to his doom 
when some unforeseen difficulties began blocking his way. -Ar 
poem recmt&tin&aome of these problems was written by Wil- 
liam Peter entitled "True Friendship.- 7 He said: i^ ' 

_^jJL e>^^j3 , v *v.l T 

The heavens interposed by bringing up a great tempest 
And Damon had a roaring river to cross. . , , 

* /^'V l/ v ^/tA>^A^ ^ ^ 4 - vW "'' 
And Mrl Peter said: , 

" i ^ Jt Q >* ^ ' ' ' l ; " 

AMt whecTthe poor pilgrim arrived at the shore 

Swollen to torrents the rills 

Rushed in foam from the hills. 

And crash went the bridge in the whirlpool's wild roar. 


An impassable flood now blocked Damon's way, and his 
time was running short. He was unable to get aid, so in des- 
peration Damon threw himself into the wild, roaring flood 
waters and swam with superhuman strength, not to save his 
own life, but to save his friend Pythias. Damon sank, then 
rose, then swam again. By the greatest efforts he struggled 
on until at length "the shore was won." He had hardly es- 

caped from the perils of the flood when as the poet^says: 

., > ~ .* -* ,/ ^ ; : ' - < 

A Band of fierce robbers encoifapassed his way, '- 

"What would ye?" he cried, "my life I have nought; , , j 
Nay, my life is the king's/* then swift having caught 
A club from the nearest, and swinging it round 
With might more than man's, he laid three on the ground, 
While the rest hurried off in dismay. ; j*.-*'*4/ f * 

9 . V ', 1 V,v- , . 

But dispersing the robbers didn't end his troubles. He 
also had a desert to cross, and di 

As the noon's scorching flame \ f '-^ '** * : ^ i 

Shoots through his frame, 

He turns, faint and way-worn to Heaven on High 

From the flood and the foe, 

Thou'st redeemed me, and oh! 

Thus, by thirst overcome, must I effortless He, 

And leave him, the beloved of my bosom to die?" 

But still Damon didn't stop. He made his way against 
every kind of obstacle in his Herculean effort to save his 
friend Pythias. Overcoming flood., robbers, fatigue, heat 
and thirst, he finally came within sight of Syracuse. On the 
outskirts he was met by his own servant who advised him to 
flee and save himself because Pythias had already been exe- 
cuted, and the king was now seeking Damon to put him to 
death also. The servant said of Pythias: 

"No; nothing can save his dear head from the tomb; 

So think of preserving thine own. 

Myself, I beheld him led forth to his doom; 

Ere this, his brave spirit has flown! 


With confident soul he stood, hour after hour, 
Thy return never doubting to see; 
No sneers of the tyrant, that faith could o'erpower, 
Or shake his assurance in thee!" 

Then Damon replied to the servant: J 

i/y v v '~ p - r/ <3 i f ' ; - ^ : t'^J *A ; r - j 

"And is it too lafe? and can I not save f ' * ^ 
His dear life? Then, at least, let me share in his grave, 
Yes, death shall unite us! no tyrant shall say, ^ 
That friend to his friend proved untrue; he may slay, 
May torture, may mock at all mercy and ruth, 
But ne'er shall he doubt of our friendship and truth/' 

Damon continued to go forward as fast as lie could, 
only to find that the servant himself had been untruthful. 
,,, 1^ ,;. , s %v, A , < -*3-V4*w<y. J, 
Tis sunset: and Damon arrives at the gate, /^7 ^ * * 
Sees tie scaffold, and multitudes gazing up from 1>elow; 
Already the victim is bared for his f ate, ^l^^ V D A 
Already the deathsman stands armed for the Hows / 
When hark! a wild voice which is echoed arounSt; / ^o aV* 
Scouts, "Stay! 'tis I it is Damon, for whom he was bDiinc 

And now they sink in each other's embrace, ^ J ^ % 

And are weeping for joy and despair/^j^' ^$QjA^ 

Not a soul, among thousands, but melts at tKeir ofee, 

Which swift to the monarch they bear; 

Even he, too, is moved feels for once as he ought 

And commands, that they both to his throne shall be brought. 

Then alternately gazing on each gallant youth, 

With looks of awe, wonder, and shame: 

*TTe have conquered!" he cried, "Yes, I see now the truth 

That friendship is not a mere name. 

Go; you're free; but, while life's dearest blessings you prove 

Let one prayer of your monarch be heard, 

That his past sins forgot in this union of love 

And of virtue ^you_make^ himjflbe^ 

->>When King Dionysius saw real trust and friendship in 
operation he wanted these qualities for himself and asked 
to be included with Damon and Pythias as the third member 
of this alliance devoted to true loyalty and friendship. 


To experience love and confidence in someone is one of 
the most priceless virtues in lif e~ Using a little different name, 
Jesus put these qualities under the title of the second great 
commandment. There are very few things in the world that 
are more pleasant than to believe in someone, or to be be- 
lieved in by someone. What a thrilling experience to have a 
feeling of absolute confidence in the integrity and ability of 
one you love, and to believe that no matter what may happen 
he will prove faithful to every trust. Solomon says that many 
people are called pious, but there are not many who can be 
called loyal. 

Of course, one of the important ingredients in this situa- 
tion is to make ourselves worthy of that trust. Then we may 
know within ourselves that we can and will fully support 
with our actions the faith and good opinions of our friends. 
And what greater compliment could anyone pay us than to 
trust us? Or think of the pleasure that we can give to others 
by merely making ourselves deserving of their wholehearted 
confidence. Carried to its ultimate this delightful quality 
is very closely allied to worship. There is an article of our 
faith in which we say, "We believe in God . . /' That not 
only means that we believe God exists, it also means that we 
know the kind of being that he is, that we were created in 
his image and endowed with his potentialities; but it also 
means that we believe in him, that we trust him, that we 
believe that he knows his business, and that our affairs are 
safe in his hands. 

Job had this kind of belief in God. In his sorest trials 
and afflictions he said: "Though he slay me, yet will I trust 
in him/' But to be complete, this Damon and Pythias kind 
of relationship must go in both directions. So let's look at 
the other side of the picture and see how God felt about Job. 
On one occasion God said to Satan, "Hast thou considered my 
servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect 
and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth 
evil? and still he boldest fast his integrity, although thou 


movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause/' (Job 
2:3) How would you like to have God say that about you? 

One-half of the greatest idea that I know of in the world 
is to believe in God. The other half of that idea is to con- 
duct our lives so that God will believe in us. This idea does 
not belong only to religion, it is the most important idea in 
business, in the professions, in government, or in our social 
relationships. Everything that is right and good makes us 
better citizens and more worthwhile individuals. What 
quality could help us more before God or with our fellow 
men than this ability to get ourselves believed in and trusted 
by others? 

By contrast we might look at this trait on the negative 
side. What can be more unpleasant than to be continually 
disappointed by someone you want to believe in. You may 
even love him, but because he lacks in basic character you 
cannot trust him. Such a one may borrow money but must 
be forced to pay it back. If you try to help him he will mis- 
interpret your action. Give him information and you will 
be misquoted. Give him your confidence and he will betray 
you. Depend on him and you will be double-crossed. Give 
him employment and he will let you down. On every occa- 
sion he meets you with excuses, alibis, untruths, worthless 
promises, laziness, irresponsibility, and a low grade of ac- 
complishment. What a great prayer someone uttered when 
he said: 

Great God, I ask thee for no meaner pelf 
Than that I may not disappoint myself. 

One of the most cherished blessings in life, or in business 
success, or in religious worship, is to have something solid 
for your faith to cling to. A climbing vine needs a non- 
crumbling brick wall to climb. Damon and Pythias were each 
a brick wall for the other. If you want to be a really great 
human being, be the kind of person that anyone can cling 


to without fear, climb up on with confidence, and trust and 
believe in with love. 

We can help develop these qualities in ourselves by a 
closer association with such great stories as Damon and Py- 
thias, David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi. But then at 
the very top of the list we have the most inspiring of all of 
the accounts of love and trust in the experience and asso- 
ciation of God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. On at 
least four different occasions the Father has introduced the 
Son to the world and said, "This is my Beloved Son, in whom 
I am well pleased." What a great ambition, if, like Dionysius, 
we determined to qualify as a third member of this alliance, 
fully devoted to true loyalty and friendship! 

For we are also the sons of God and are entitled to 
give our Heavenly Father the same pleasure in our associa- 
tion that he gets from his most prominent Son. No one can 
reach his maximum accomplishments who cannot say, "We 
believe in God." But then to make the picture complete 
our lives must be such that God can say that he believes in us. 

The Family 

E OF THE distinguishing character- 
istics of our day is the very in- 
teresting problems we have to solve. In many ways our 
standards are higher than they have ever been, but the size 
of our problems have also increased. We have gigantic edu- 
cational problems. The problems of government are be- 
coming more and more difficult. We have ever increasing 
needs in our technological fields, and our human relationships 
are loudly calling for an upgrading in effectiveness. 

All improvements are best brought about when people 
work closely together in groups. Our progress depends on 
the effective functioning of nations, states, counties, cities, 
business organizations, social, political and religious groups. 
But the basic unit of society and the group on which most o 
our success depends is the family. The family is the very 
foundation of civilization. It is the most important organiza- 
tion in the world. It exerts the determining influence in 
economics, government, business, social relations, and re- 
ligion. It is from the family that we get our heredity, and 
that is where much of our environment, education, love, op- 
portunity and happiness have their origin. 

The greatest of all creations took place when God formed 
man in his own image. But God was not satisfied, and he said, 
"It is not good that man should be alone/' And so man was 
made complete by the creation of a woman, and God or- 
dained that they two should be one flesh. God himself 
established the marriage relationship and ordained that it 
should be eternal. God gave to this pair the miraculous joint 
power of procreation. He ordained that the family should be 
bound together by the power of the priesthood for time and 
for all eternity. (This sealing power was given to his servants 


when he said, "Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be 
bound in heaven/') After the marriage had been completed, 
God said, "Be fruitwul and multiply and replenish the earth." 
Thus God gave to man the privilege of establishing his own 
family, to be the basic unit throughout all of eternity. 

Men and women were not only created in God's image, 
but they were endowed with his attributes. As one of God's 
attributes the scriptures say, "God is love," but God has also 
given to the family a substantial measure of this trait by 
which he himself is characterized. Love is the strongest 
power in the world. It is the primary emotion in life. For 
example, who has not wondered at the marvel of mother 
love born out of the miracle of motherhood! We see an 
ordinary human being transformed by mother love and made 
willing to give everything, including life itself, for the welfare 
of her offspring. 

Mothers and fathers often forget themselves and spend 
their lives in toil and hardship that their children might have 
more of the opportunities of life. Outside of God himself, 
the greatest manifestation of this wonderful emotion is in the 
keeping of the family. By this love attraction men and women 
are brought together in marriage by a power that cannot be 
denied. Then under the right circumstances this love be- 
comes sweeter and more holy as the years go by. Real love 
may sometimes be blind, but it is never weak. It can induce 
people to give up everything else to devote themselves to 
spouse, parents, or children, and the greatest of all joys comes 
from an exercise of true love. 

Abraham Lincoln's mother died when he was nine years 
old. But throughout his life his relationship to her was held 
in the highest reverence and adoration. He said of her, "All 
that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother/' 
This godly virtue sometimes shows itself at its best when 
functioning between brothers and sisters. We cannot ex- 
press greater feeling than to say, "I love him like a brother/' 


God ordained the home as the place where family mem- 
bers could get together and feel the closeness and affection 
of each other, as each supported and upheld the other fam- 
ily members. Just suppose that you had no family and no 
home to go to. The home is also the fundamental teacher 
training institution of the world. Here people without aca- 
demic degrees or training in pedagogy can acquire an ex- 
cellence in guiding others equaling the untaught perfection 
of the mother of Abraham Lincoln. The home is the center 
of the most important public relations operation. It is the 
citadel of religion. It is the basis of morality. It supplies 
the chief ingredient of morale. It is the fountain from which 
all blessings flow. 

During World War II War Correspondent Ernie Pyle 
lived among the soldiers. He saw important history in the 
making and men fighting and dying for what they believed. 
Mr. Pyle pointed out that nine-tenths of morale came from 
"pride in your outfit and confidence in your leaders/' When 
a soldier is fighting for his life, few things can give him greater 
satisfaction than to know that he is supported on all sides 
by associates sharing his objectives, with courage, ability and 
ideals to match his own. He also likes to know that standing 
at his head are honest, capable leaders who know their busi- 
ness and are worthy of his greatest confidence and admir- 

But life itself has been compared to a kind of war, and 
the primary battle unit is the family. What a thrilling ex- 
perience and what a tremendous advantage to belong to a 
loving family where parents are united in the same vital re- 
ligious convictions and where all of the members are happy, 
faithful, righteous, capable, true-blue members of their basic 

It might help us to understand family importance by 
asking what a good father is worth, or what price would you 
place on a mother s faith, love and loyalty. We might be 


able to answer this question if we could understand what the 
love of God is worth, or how the value of his loyalty and 
honor could be measured and appraised. God has given to 
the family an extra amount of love for each other member. 
And he has given to the family itself an added significance in 
the eyes of each member. 

It might help us to place a proper value upon the in- 
dividual members of the family if we were to determine how 
much we would be willing to pay to get one back once he 
were lost? We have often had this question answered in a 
very real way. For example, in the fall of 1953 some evil 
people kidnapped little Bobby Greenlease of Kansas City, 
Missouri. The next day the kidnappers wrote his parents a 
letter and said, "We will let you have him back for $600,000." 
The money was furnished and if possible they would have 
been willing to pay $600 million or $600 billion to get Robert 
back unharmed. If a mortal life is worth so much, how 
much would an eternal life be worth, and what would we 
be willing to pay to get it back once it were lost? Or what 
should we be willing to do to prevent it from getting lost? 

We are told that the worth of souls is great in the sight 
of God, and it is certain that they would be worth a great 
deal more in our own sight if we had a proper understanding 
of our true situation. 

Some years ago Ethel Lynn Beers wrote some stimulat- 
ing verses involving two brothers. One had great wealth 
but no children. The other was very poor and had a large 
family. The wealthy man wrote a letter offering to exchange 
a large part of his goods for any one of his brother's seven 
children. The question to be decided by the parents was 

Mrs. Beers says 

Which shall it be? Which shall it be? 
I looked at John; John looked at me, 
And when I found that I must speak, 


My voice seemed strangely low and weak: 
"Tell me again what Robert said;'* 
And then I, listening, bent my head. 

This is his letter: "I will give 
A house and land while you shall live, 
If in return, from out your seven, 
One child to me for aye is given." 

I looked at John's old garments worn: 
I thought of all that he had borne 
Of poverty, and work, and care, 
Which I, though willing, could not share; 
I thought of seven young mouths to feed, 
Of seven little children's need. 
And then of this. 

"Come, John," said I; 
"Well choose among them as they lie 
Asleep." So walking hand in hand, 
Dear John and I survey our band: 
First to the cradle lightly stepped, 
While Lilian, the baby, slept. 
Softly the father stopped to lay 
His rough hand down in a loving way, 
When dream or whisper made her stir, 
And huskily he said, "Not her." 

We stooped beside the trundle bed 

And one long ray of lamplight shed 

Athwart the boyish faces there, 

In sleep so beautiful and fair. 

I saw on James* rough, red cheek 

A tear undried. Ere John could speak 

"He's but a baby, too," said I, 

And we kissed him as we hurried by. 

Pale, patient Robbie's angel face 

Still in his sleep bore suffering's trace; 

"No, not for a thousand crowns not him," 

He whispered, while our eyes were dim. 

Poor Dick, bad Dick, our wayward son 
The turbulent, restless, idle one- 
Could he be spared? Nay, he who gave 
Bade us befriend him to tibe grave; 
Only a mother's heart could be 
Patient enough for such as he: 
"And so," said John, "I would not dare 
To take him from her bedside prayer." 


Then stole we softly up above, 
And knelt by Mary, child of love, 
"Perhaps for her 'twould better be," 
I said to John. Quite silently 
He lifted up a curl that lay 
Across her cheek in a wilful way, 
And shook his head: "Nay, love, not thee" 
The while my heart beat audibly. 

Only one more, our eldest lad; 
Trusty and truthful, good and glad; 
So like his father, "No, John, no, 
I cannot, will not let him go." 
And so we wrote, in a courteous way, 
We could not give one child away; 
And afterward, toil lighter seemed, 
Thinking of that of which we dreamed, 
Happy in truth that not one face 
Was missed from its accustomed place; 
Thankful to work for all the seven, 
Trusting the rest to the One in Heaven. 

But one of the most important facts in the universe is 
that God did not design our lives merely for this vale of tears 
alone. Not only is life eternal, but love is eternal, and we 
have the sure word of God that under certain conditions the 
family unit may be eternal also. It was intended by God 
to go on unbroken forever. The scriptures say, "Whatso- 
ever God doeth, it shall last forever/* Mortality is but a period 
of preparation., a rehearsal for the real thing. We know that 
God himself has a family. He has already made us acquainted 
with his Only Begotten Son in the flesh. But Jesus was also 
the spirit offspring of God in heaven. Paul calls him the 
firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29) We know 
that we are also the children of God. A great latter-day 
poet has written: 

In the heavens are parents single? 
No, the thought makes reason stare. 
Truth is reason, truth eternal 
Tells me I've a mother there. 


One of the greatest concepts of the religion of Christ is 
the eternal continuance and eternal glory of the family. It 
is just as inconceivable that God intended our family rela- 
tionship to end after a few years of mortality, as that he 
intended his own relationship with his son Jesus Christ to end, 
after the son's thirty-three years of mortal life. Of that re- 
lationship Jesus said, "And now, O Father, glorify thou me 
with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee 
before the world was." This wonderful relationship also indi- 
cates our own possibility. People and particularly the sexes 
are incomplete singly, and individuals cannot be perfected 
alone. Speaking of the fathers, the Apostle Paul said, "That 
they without us should not be made perfect/' (Heb. 11:40) 
Neither can we be made perfect without our families. 

One of the most destructive of the doctrines of Satan is 
his philosophy of marriage that says, "Until death do us 
part." Andrew Jackson said, "Heaven would not be heaven to 
me without my wife." And you can depend upon it that 
heaven will not be heaven to you without your wife, or 
without your children. Neither will it be complete without 
having the family bound together exactly as God has or- 
dained. It is not good for man to be alone in this life, but 
it would be many times worse to be alone throughout eter- 
nity. Someone has said, "I desire no future that will break 
the ties of the past." We know that Jesus clung to his family 

Just before his death he said, "I came forth from the 
Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, 
and go to the Father/* (John 17:28) Certainly Jesus here 
shows no inclination to be a part of this damaging philosophy 
of "until death do us part." God has ordained marriage "for 
time and eternity." Some of the important purposes of this 
life are to get our bodies, form our families, develop our 
personalities, and qualify for eternal life by proving our 
righteousness. Then our ultimate destiny is that we may 


become as our Heavenly Father, with quickened senses, am- 
plified powers of perception, and vastly increased capacity 
for understanding, godliness, happiness and love. Without 
our bodies we could never have a fulness of joy either here 
or hereafter. Neither can we have a fulness of joy without 
our families. 

We love our children in this life and get great happi- 
ness from their success and righteousness. We can only 
imagine what that love will be like when we are glorified and 
joined together according to the plan of our Heavenly Father, 
endowed with his pure love to live throughout eternity with 
a perfect body, a perfect mind, and a perfect love. Only 
then can the scripture be fulfilled wherein we are com- 
manded, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which 
is in heaven is perfect/ 7 

The Fiery Serpents 

T 1 

"HE HOLY BIBLE is filled with many 
interesting accounts of the great 
experiences of the past. From these accounts we can learn 
a great many things, and get some helpful patterns by which 
to guide our lives. I have often felt very sorry for those who 
lived before printing made it possible for us to share in the 
interesting experiences of those living in other lands and 
in ages past 

The Old Testament centers around God's attempt to 
mold a great nation out of a group of people who for hun- 
dreds of years had lived as Egyptian slaves. In order to teach 
obedience and self-control, God gave the Israelites work to 
do and obstacles to overcome. He gave them eternal success 
principles to live by, and he tried to make clear to their 
minds the important differences between right and wrong, 

On one occasion as the Israelites were making their 
difficult way toward their promised land, they became dis- 
couraged and rebellious. They were passing through a barren 
country with very little water to supplement their monot- 
onous diet of manna. In their discouragement they did what 
people frequently do when in difficulty. They began speak- 
ing against their leaders and criticizing God. 

But one of the universal laws on which all progress is 
based involves correction, and punishment for wrong doing. 
Sooner or later we must all learn that sometime the books 
must be balanced. The Old Testament itself is a long series 
of rewards for good and punishment for transgression. As 
a part of the schooling that the Lord was giving to the chosen 
people, it had to be understood by them that disobedience 
could never go unpunished; otherwise the spirit of irrespon- 


sibility and lawlessness would completely take over. The 
lives of children or adults can easily be spoiled when tantrums 
are honored and wrongs rewarded. It always has a detri- 
mental effect upon us to get wealth without effort, to re- 
ceive opportunity without responsibility, or to commit 
transgression without blame. 

Before they began their journey, the Lord made an 
agreement with the Israelites that he would make them a 
favored people if they would obey his commandments. We 
know the troubles that both nations and individuals get into 
when covenants and promises are not kept. A judge in San 
Francisco recently said that very few people who appear be- 
fore him ever honor their oaths. Even after men and women 
have been sworn in to important government positions, many 
of them have given out valuable secrets to those who would 
destroy the very country they have promised to protect. 
Others use their sacred office to further their own selfish 
ambitions. In the presence of moral decay, graft and cor- 
ruption always flourish. 

However, the most important covenants are broken in 
our dealings with God. And when any wrongs are allowed 
to go unnoticed and unpunished more serious violations are 
bound to follow, and even eternal life may eventually be lost 
as a consequence. 

Therefore, following the rebellion and disobedience of 
the children of Israel, the Lord imposed their punishment by 
sending fiery serpents among the people. Many were bitten 
and over three thousand died. Other thousands suffered 
severe discomfort and unpleasantness because of the bites 
and their fear of the serpents. The serpent has always been 
the symbol of evil. It has been the special symbol of the 
evil of disobedience. These particular serpents were prob- 
ably called "fiery" serpents because of the intense burning 
pain caused by their bite which was often severe enough to 
be fatal. Snakes are always particularly repulsive. The 


scriptures say that the serpent was cursed "above all cattle." 
The mere presence of a snake produces a feeling of hatred 
and dread in most people. What a difficult ordeal it must 
have been therefore for the Israelites to be forced to live 
with these hateful fiery serpents among them. The heat, 
hunger and fatigue of the desert were bad enough, but these 
difficulties must have been minor compared to the unpleas- 
antness, tension, dread and fear of attack, caused by these 
loathsome, deadly serpents crawling everywhere and strik- 
ing from every ambush. 

In any event, it was not long before the Israelites had 
had their fill of fiery serpents. Then they were very sorry 
for the sins that had brought the snakes upon them. They 
now decided to try and undo their wrong in order to get rid 
of the serpents. Accordingly the people went to Moses 
and said. "We have sinned, for we have spoken against the 
Lord and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he may take 
away the serpents from us." Moses did as the people re- 
quested, but the Lord was not quite ready to recall their 
punishment. It is not always as easy to terminate the effects 
of evil, as it is to set it in motion. All diseases are more 
easily contracted than cured. Anyway, the Lord declined to 
remove the serpents. It may be that he felt it necessary to 
keep the Israelites reminded that punishment was always 
close at hand. It might also help us to keep out of trouble 
if we knew that a dozen loathsome, fiery serpents were always 
on duty and were looking in our direction. 

However, the Lord did offer the Israelites a compromise 
solution for their problem. He instructed Moses to mold a 
fiery serpent out of brass, and lift it up on a pole where all 
the people could see it. Then the Lord said, "And it shall 
come to pass that everyone that is bitten, when he looketh 
upon the brazen serpent shall live." Obediently Moses made 
a serpent of brass and put it up on a pole. Its polished sur- 
face shone like fire, and whosoever was bitten could save 


his life by looking upon the serpent of brass, (Nu. 21:4-8) 
Of course, the people were still not freed from the burning 
pain and the inconvenience of being bitten, nor could they 
get away from the fear and dreadful loathing they felt in 
the presence of their evil, unwelcome, disgusting guests. 

The brazen serpent that was made by Moses under the 
command of God continued in Israel until the time of Heze- 
kiah, by which time it had become an object of worship 
because of its power to save people from death. (II Kings 

Jesus himself gave this idea of the brazen serpent its 
greatest significance however when some 1500 years after 
this experience in the wilderness, he used the brazen ser- 
pent as a symbol of his own power and said, "As Moses lifted 
up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of 
man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should 
not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:14) It would 
probably be very difficult to find a more helpful idea in our 
own interests. Like the Israelites we are surrounded on every 
side by sin and trouble. We are being continually bitten 
by the evils that we bring upon ourselves. And whether 
we fully realize it or not, we are still subject to the law that 
requires us to pay the penalty of every wrong. As no one 
can do a good deed without sooner or later receiving a re- 
ward, so no one can do an evil deed without sometime suffer- 
ing a penalty. The consequences of evil may not always 
be as immediate as a serpent bite, and yet sooner or later a 
satisfactory settlement must be made, and it is still as though 
some fiery serpents were awaiting behind every bush of 
wrong doing to sink their hot, poisonous fangs into our 
sensitive flesh. 

The effect of sin upon the spirit, is also very similar to 
that of a bite on the body by a poisonous serpent. Certainly 
sin causes us much greater unhappiness than snake bite, and 
its consequences of spiritual death are far more serious. The 


damaging effect of sin was known even before this earth was 
created. Lucifer was banished from heaven because of his 
own evil. And God himself cannot look upon sin with the 
least degree of allowance. His aversion to sin is undoubtedly 
far greater than would be our loathing of ugly, poisonous 
serpents crawling over us. God knows the unhappiness and 
destruction that always comes from sin, and he wants to 
protect us from it, just as we would want to protect our 
children from a group of rattlesnakes making their nest in 
the living room. Yet to remove sin from the world and make 
it impossible for us to do wrong would also make it impos- 
sible for us to see good and evil side by side and would there- 
by destroy the free agency and the opportunity for personal 
development that God so much desires us to have. 

God is very anxious that our lives become something 
of which he can be proud, and we must climb to glory by our 
own choices. The opportunity for growth must not be denied 
us, and God has fully provided for our relief when we are 
bitten by the deadly thing called sin. Jesus took our evil 
upon himself. He suffered severely for our transgressions, 
but as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness to save 
the lives of the Israelites, so was our Redeemer lifted up 
upon the cross to save us from suffering and death. And 
if we look up to him in faith, and if we repent of our sins 
and follow divine instruction, we can free ourselves from the 
harmful effects of the fiery serpents of our own transgressions. 

It is an interesting fact, however, that even after Moses 
had lifted up the brazen serpent in the wilderness, with 
God's sure promise of relief, there were some Israelites who 
chose to die rather than to look upon it. I suppose they must 
have felt a little bit embarrassed to run the risk of having 
anyone think that they were gullible enough to believe that 
by looking upon a brass image they could cure themselves 
of snake bite. Therefore, even after the solution of their 
problem had been provided, many still lost their lives, not 


because death was inevitable, but because they would not 
believe and obey God's commandments. 

We have many of the same problems in our own day. 
Christ has made us offers of peace, happiness and prosperity, 
if we will only live the principles of the gospel. By centering 
our minds on him and following his instruction we can save 
ourselves from death, and live with God forever in eternal 
happiness and glory. Whereas if we follow our own devices 
we may die from the serpent bites of our own sins. Most 
people have always refused to follow divine directions, and 
even now as a result of our present rebellion and disobe- 
dience, the world is teetering back and forth on the very 
brink of disaster. It looks as though many of us will per- 
sonally go to destruction because we will not look to God. 

How foolish to refuse to believe in God! How foolish 
to disobey the little easy, simple commandments required to 
bring about our eternal salvation and happiness! When the 
Prophet Elisha gave Naaman the opportunity of curing him- 
self of his leprosy by washing himself seven times in the 
river Jordan, Naaman became angry and said, "Are not 
Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascas, better than all the 
waters of Israel?" (II Kings 5:10-12) And that may have 
been so. But it was only after he had done as he was com- 
manded that he was cleansed of his leprosy. 

In the United States we have also set up a standard 
for ourselves by writing on our coins "In God we trust/' But 
again we don't look, and our actions indicate that we actually 
put our trust in other things. 

On one occasion when Alexander the Great was ill he 
received an anonymous letter warning him that his physician 
intended to poison him while pretending to give him medi- 
cine. The physician came to see Alexander as the letter had 
predicted. The physician poured out some medicine and 
handed it to Alexander. The Emporer, looking his friend 
full in the face, drank the contents of the goblet and then 


handed the doctor the letter. Alexander trusted his friend 
because he knew him. He knew of his skill as a physician, 
of his integrity as a man, and of his devotion as a friend. 
The seeds of doubt planted in the letter, intended to incite 
Alexander's mistrust, found no root 

Certainly we should have enough confidence in God to 
take his medicine. Emerson once said, "All that I have seen 
teaches me to trust God for that which I have not seen/' 
We should remember that God is still trying to get us to 
keep our covenants and become a royal priesthood and a 
holy nation. But our progress is very slow. Rebellion, dis- 
obedience and the fiery serpents of sin are still taking their 
toll among us. The resulting loss of blessings is not because 
such a loss is inevitable, but because we do not take advan- 
tage of the means provided for our deliverance. 

Faith in God is the basic principle of the gospel. Obe- 
dience to his law is the divine order of the universe. All 
blessings are available to us if we will only look up to him 
who is our Savior and Redeemer. "For God so loved the 
world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever 
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life/* 
John 3:16) 

A Fighting Heart 


"HE DICTIONABY describes the heart 
as a hollow, muscular organ, 
which by contracting rhythmically, keeps up the circulation 
of the blood. In human adults this little engine is about 
five inches long and 8^2 inches broad. It has a conical form, 
placed obliquely in the chest, with the base or broad end 
upward and to the right. 

In the last few years there has been introduced into the 
world enough marvels and wonders to stagger the most vivid 
imagination, but none of them have yet come close to equal- 
ing this magnificent little invention called the human heart. 

Sometime ago I woke up in the middle of the night and 
listened to my heart as it worked away at its job. I thought 
how much I owed to this two and one-half pounds of mus- 
cular dependability. My heart pumps a full load about 70 
times per minute, and has kept up that pace hour after hour 
and month after month for well over half a century. It 
doesn't matter whether I am standing up or lying down or 
standing on my head. It doesn't matter whether I am asleep 
or awake, running or walking, working or resting, it keeps 
itself regulated at exactly the right speed for every occasion. 
Sometimes it pounds like a sledgehammer, and sometimes it 
purrs like a kitten, but the most scientific timing device in 
the world couldn't make it any more accurate or efficient. 
It has never once had to be cleaned, repaired, regulated or 
have its valves ground. So far as I know my heart has never 
missed a single stroke in 60 years. 

Some of my other personal equipment is a little faulty. 
Because I have not properly trained my brain it is inclined 
to be disturbingly forgetful at times. And I thought about 


the trouble I would be in if my heart should forget to beat 
for just a few minutes. But I go to sleep each night with a 
reasonable assurance that it will not forget, but will stay on 
the job throughout the night. And I hope its dependability 
will continue for a good while into the future. The heart 
itself goes without sleep, without rest and without any out- 
side supervision or food supply. It not only keeps the pumps 
going but it also makes sure that the temperature controls, 
the disease fighting forces, and all of its other subsidiary 
duties are always in full operation., assuring me that in the 
morning I will still be in business. Yet with all of this re- 
sponsibility it doesn't have to be reminded, compensated or 
stimulated to do its work. 

I don't understand just how my heart got its job or its 
ability in the first place. I don't understand when it started 
to work, or why it keeps going. I don't know from what 
source it gets it devotion, its motivation, or its seemingly 
perpetual motion, but I am very grateful for all of this wonder 
and dependability. 

But pumping blood is not the heart's only job. It is 
also the headquarters for life itself. In a little different way 
it is the seat of the emotions. It is also the power plant of 
success, for when one puts his heart into what he is doing, 
every accomplishment is assured. 

Solomon said, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for 
out of it are the issues of life/' (Prov. 4:23) When the heart 
isn't on our side, failure is just around the corner, then we 
start developing faint hearts or tired hearts or hard hearts. 
A fearful person is said to carry his heart in his mouth. If a 
person is seriously discouraged his heart is said to sink into 
his boots. Sometimes we get weary, unenthusiastic, lazy 
hearts or allow wickedness to take over its operation and 

The Bible says, "Blessed are the pure in heart" Impur- 
ities in the heart can easly kill all of our chances for success. 


We know of the harm that can be done by allowing frustra- 
tions, heartaches, disappointments, or sin to get into this 
control center of our lives. The Bible speaks of "faint hearts," 
"deceitful hearts" and "perverse hearts/' It calls one man a 
"backslider" in his heart. These degrading emotions, un- 
worthy ambitions or destructive thoughts in our hearts 
always cause a severe deterioration to take place in our 

On the other hand, there are a lot of ways we can help 
the heart. We have a common expression in which we say, 
"This will do your heart good/' Solomon said, "A merry 
heart doeth good like a medicine/' (Prov. 17:22) The Bible 
speaks of "a willing heart," "an understanding heart," and a 
heart filled with wisdom and righteousness. 

The roadside billboard of an oil company proclaims that, 
"A clean engine produces power." But so does a clean heart. 
Lord Tennyson tells Sir Galahad's secret of success by saying, 
"His strength was as the strength of ten because his heart 
was pure." This is always true. Probably next in importance 
to a pure heart is a valiant heart, one that is filled with cour- 
age and determination. We sometimes call such a heart 
"a fighting heart" It is an interesting fact that like a good 
soldier, everyone is constantly waging war; not a war against 
anyone, but a war for everyone. Everyone should constantly 
be fighting a war for his family, his country and his God. 
He is fighting for peace, respectability, righteousness, se- 
curity, and happiness. Life itself has often been compared to 
a battle and our antagonists come in many shapes and sizes. 
We need to wage a constant war against lethargy, sloth, sin 
and ignorance, especially in ourselves. 

Abraham Lincoln fought against melancholy and despair 
all of his days. When anyone lays down his arms, his troubles 
immediately begin to increase. 

There is nothing that failure, error or sin loves quite 
so much as peace. For years Hitler, the assassin and trouble- 


maker, cried out to the nations, "Let us alone, we want peace/' 
The communist dictators are continually pleading for peace. 
They want to be let alone while they carry out their an- 
nounced purpose of enslaving the world and murdering help- 
less peoples. Evlha Satan wants peace. In the synagogue at 
Capernaum, the spirit of the unclean devil cried out with a 
loud voice, "Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with 
thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? Art thou come to destroy us? 
. . ." (Luke 4:34) Sloth and lethargy also cry out, "Let 
us alone. We want peace/' Ignorance wants nothing quite 
so much as merely to be let alone. The loudest plea of idle- 
ness is that it does not want to be disturbed. The chief cry 
of every criminal and every sinner and every delinquent is 
to be let alone. They all want peace. But every righteous 
man, every seeker after success, everyone ambitious for right- 
eousness, or devoted to happiness, or in quest of freedom, 
everyone in search of justice and truth, every scholar and 
every leader, every thinker and every prophet must be a 
warrior continually engaged in war. The moment we relax 
our fighting effort we are in danger. 

In his novel, The Citadel, A. J. Cronin has the faithful 
young wife say to her slipping husband, "Don't you remember 
how you used to speak about the future, that it was an attack 
upon the unknown, that it was an assault up the hill, as 
though you must take the castle on the hilltop?" The fail- 
ing, half-hearted husband replied, **I was young and foolish 
then/' When the spirit quits fighting, the mind is soon taken 
captive. When enthusiasm is lost for the fight, the battle 
of the mind soon ends in failure and defeat. 

But it is always a thrilling thing to contemplate a truly 
great fighter, whether he functions as an individual or stands 
at the head of a great nation. A real fighter is one who has 
his mind centered on righteousness and his blood filled with 
a passion for victory. A great fighter counts it a pleasure 
always to be on his feet going the second mile. He has the 


ability to make long inarches on short rations, and he is able 
to hold his ground in the face of the most severe difficulties. 
He welcomes challenging problems to solve. In our lives 
we too frequently become what Emerson calls "parlor sol- 
diers," we like to dine nicely and sleep warm, but we shun 
the vigorous battle of life where strength and accomplish- 
ment are born. We pray for ease and peace and prosperity, 
we think of comfort, enjoyment and rest; and in the process 
we become sluggish, soft, lethargic, sinful and lose the spirit 
of our own success. 

One of the great success stories of all time centers around 
the lion-hearted King Richard who ruled England in the latter 
part of the 12th century. Richard organized a crusade to go 
to the Holy Land to dispossess the Turks of the Sepulcher. 
However, the expedition was unsuccessful and Richard him- 
self was captured and confined to a foreign prison. 

During his absence, traitors at home took over the gov- 
ernment, and when Richard finally effected his escape and 
returned to England, it was necessary for reasons of his own 
personal security that he come disguised in plain, unmarked 
armor. Then quietly he gathered about him a few of his 
faithful followers, with the idea of putting England back 
in the hands of its rightful rulers. 

One of his first moves after this little battle group had 
been assembled was to attack the castle at Torkelstone, a 
stronghold of the enemy in which Ivanhoe, the friend and 
follower of the King, was wounded and imprisoned. 

When Ivanhoe heard the noises of assault beginning to 
take place outside the castle, and because of wounds and 
loss of blood he was unable to raise himself from his couch, 
he asked his nurse, Rebecca, to stand by the window and tell 
him what was taking place outside. And the first thing that 
he wanted to know was who the leader was. Of course, 
that is the first thing that anyone wants to know about any 


Ivanhoe asked Rebecca to describe the insignia or other 
marks of identification on the armor of the leader so that he 
would know who he was, and what their chances of rescue 
were. But Rebecca reported back that the leader fought in 
plain, unmarked armor and that he had no insignia or marks 
of identification. Then Ivanhoe said, "Then describe how 
he fights, and then I will know who he is." That is, everyone 
has a set of activities about as characteristic as his fingerprints. 
So Rebecca tried to describe this great warrior clad in plain, 
unmarked armor as he swung this ponderous ax with thunder- 
ous blows, assaulting this castle stronghold almost single- 
handed. Rebecca said, "Stones and beams are hurled down 
from the castle walls upon him, but he regards them no more 
than if they were thistledown or feathers." She said, "He 
fights as if there were twenty men's strength in his single arm." 
Again she said, "It is fearful, yet magnificent, to behold how 
the arm and heart of one man can triumph over hundreds." 

Ivanhoe could think of no one but the King. He said, 
"I thought there was but one man in England who might do 
such deeds." But he believed the King to be a prisoner in 
an Austrian dungeon. I suppose that Richard's arm wasn't 
really any stronger than many other warrior's arm, but that 
is not where strength comes from. Rebecca had said, "The 
arm and heart of one man." Richard was fighting with his 
heart. He was fighting for England, and when anyone 
begins fighting with his heart, then things really begin to 

Then Ivanhoe paid this tribute to an unknown leader. 
He didn't know who this man was but he knew the qualities 
and always characterized great accomplishment, and he said 
to Rebecca, "I swear by the honor of my house, I would 
endure ten years of captivity to fight a single day by that 
great man's side in such a quarrel as this." Captivity would 
have been the greatest punishment to which Ivanhoe could 
have been subjected, and yet he said in substance, I would 
gladly languish ten years in a dungeon cell for the privilege 


of fighting by the side and under the banner of a great man 
in a great cause. 

We who engage in the work of human betterment are 
also fighting in a great cause, and the only other question 
that we need to ask ourselves is, "How will we fight?" And 
in one of the greatest scriptural passages, the Lord himself 
has given us the answer. He said, "Oh ye that embark in 
the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your 
heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blame- 
less before God at the last day." (D&C4:2) That com- 
mandment makes us all warriors; and the adoption of that 
attitude will make every accomplishment easy and every 
victory certain. We do not read our futures in the stars. 
We read them in our own hearts. Therein is the center of 
every success. Therefore, may we keep our hearts with all 
diligence and be valiant fighters for righteousness. 

A Four-Square Life 

\ \ /E HAVE many interesting words and 
* * ideas that always bring us a 

profit when we adequately think about them. Some of these 
interesting thoughts are connected with the idea of a "square." 
The dictionary says that a square is a "parallelogram having 
four sides of equal length and four right angles." For an 
example of a square we might think of a checkerboard, or the 
squares into which our cities are divided. 

But one of the most challenging uses of this interesting 
word is found in its application to people. One of the great- 
est compliments that we could receive, would be to have it 
truthfully said of us, that we were always on the square. When 
we have an important job to do, we square our lives with the 
fundamental principles of achievement, and then we square 
our shoulders to bring the accomplishment about. 

One great man said that no accomplishment could ever 
have real acceptance that did not square with the word of the 
Lord as found in the Holy Scriptures. The plan of salvation 
itself has on occasions been referred to as the four-square 
gospel. Certainly the Lord wants four-square men and four- 
square women who can fit his four-square program. Life itself 
is a four-sided affair, and a four-square life must be one that 
has all of its sides in proper balance. Certainly life loses much 
that is worthwhile when it becomes lopsided. 

In living a four-square life as in other worthwhile things, 
Jesus is our finest example. In recording the progress of 
Jesus, Luke gives us this stimulating line. He said, "And Jesus 
increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God 
and man/' (Luke 2:52) Jesus increased along all of these 
important fronts at the same time. He increased in wisdom; 
that is, he increased the mental side of life. He increased 


in stature; that indicates his physical progress. He increased 
in favor with God; that represents his spiritual attainment. 
And he increased in favor with man; that points out his 
social advancement. 

Suppose we use this as a pattern for our own growth. 
It was with this scripture in mind that Mr. W. H. Danforth, 
the founder of the Ralston-Purina Company, adopted the 
checkerboard has his company trademark. Then Mr. Dan- 
forth wrote a stimulating little book about his own four- 
square program called I DARE YOU, in which he 
challenges others to follow the formula of Jesus. 

Just suppose that we think of these four sides of our 
own lives as the four sides of a square checker. We might 
think of the horizontal line forming the top of the checker 
as representing our own mental development. The right 
hand vertical side stands for our physical development. The 
base of the checker represents our spiritual development. 
And the left hand vertical side shows our social development. 
Actually we have four lives to live instead of just one. We 
live physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. And this 
gives us a four-fold opportunity to make progress. 

We also have four major instruments of accomplishment 
a body, a mind, a heart and a spirit. These are the tools 
of our progress and represent the greatest of our life's oppor- 

Jesus gave outstanding emphasis to two sides of the 
square by making them the two greatest of all of his com- 
mandments. He said, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy 
God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all 
thy might, and thou shalt serve him with all thy strength." 
This relationship with God must always be the base of a 
four-square life. Then Jesus named the social side of the 
square as being next in importance. He said "And thou 
shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." John Locke helped to 
make the square complete by paying "a sound mind in a 


sound body is a short but full description of a happy state 
in this world." 

Man was designed by God as the masterpiece of all 
creation and our greatest human concept might well be that 
of a perfect development in each of these four main de- 
partments of life. It might help us to borrow the scout 
oath with one phrase added, and then take our own pledge 
to make ourselves physically strong, mentally awake, mor- 
ally straight, and socially useful 

Suppose that one at a time we hold our four lives up 
for review and consideration as to how they may be im- 
proved. One of the greatest wonders of the world is a 
beautiful, well-developed human body without which we 
could never have a fulness of joy, either here or hereafter. 
Greece reached her golden age only after her people had 
developed strong, vigorous, healthy bodies. That was the 
basis for all of their other accomplishments. The Spartans 
thought of themselves as children of Hercules and they 
trained themselves accordingly. A healthy body is the dwell- 
ing place best suited for a clear mind, a pure heart, and an 
enthusiastic spirit 

The Apostle Paul referred to the human body as the 
"temple of God" and indicated its importance by saying, 
"If any man defile this temple, him shall God destroy. For 
the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." Man's body 
was designed for an eternal life. God did not intend us to 
be physical weaklings with ailing bodies filled with sickness 
and disease. In our age tending toward soft living, we some- 
times let this wonderful body lose its Spartan qualities and 
become flabby and unfit. What a terrible distortion of a 
four-square life to saturate our tissues with alcohol, poison 
our bodies with nicotine, or weaken them with sin, so that 
the lines of this wonderful image fashioned after God's own 
likeness becomes blurred and indistinct. We should have 
bodies sufficiently strong to bear the weight of an eternal life. 


Even if we were merely trying to be effective athletes, 
we would eat only wholesome food, recommended for the 
training table. We would get regular hours of sleep and 
undergo a vigorous, body-building program that would make 
us alert, resistant to disease, and ready for every test, and 
any accomplishment. But life is much bigger than a foot- 
ball or basketball game and if we are to be successful in 
life, we must maintain a high physical score by always being 
fit and full of energy and healthful enthusiasm. 

Many years ago the great British Prime Minister Disraeli 
declared that, "The health of the people is the foundation 
upon which all of their happiness as well as the power of 
the state depends." He said, "The health of the people is 
the first duty of a statesman/' Physical, mental, spiritual 
and social health is also the first duty of every individual. 
To discharge this duty effectively we must square our shoul- 
ders and be at our best physically, mentally, spiritually and 

In George Bernard Shaw's play "Pygmalion" the pro- 
fessor assumed the task of taking a flower girl from the 
slums and making her into the finest lady. In his instructions 
he said to her, "Think like a duchess, act like a duchess, talk 
like a duchess/' Gutter language keeps one in the gutter. 
Gutter thoughts keep one in the gutter. The mind of a lady 
makes one a lady. The mind of a general makes one a gen- 
eral. "As a man thinketh, so is he/' 

The human mind was designed to be man's presiding 
officer to draw the blueprint for his success, and to build 
the roadway of his accomplishment. God gave man dominion 
over everything upon the earth, including himself. The ap- 
petites, passions, urges, fears, emotions, hopes and ambitions 
must be stimulated, guided and controlled by the mind. The 
first and greatest victory of every man should be his victory 
over himself. A great philosopher once said, "To be con- 
quered by one's self is of all things most shameful and vile. 


This conquering and direction of ourselves is the field of our 
greatest responsibility and opportunity. 

Most of the far regions of the earth have now been dis- 
covered, but there is still plenty of room for some mental 
Columbus's and some thinking Peary's, and some planning 
Admiral Byrd's. Someone has said that the biggest room 
in the world is the room for self-improvement. Mental 
adventure can provide twice the thrill that ever comes from 
physical adventure. We can feed the mind on the greatest 
ideas. We may even nourish our mental selves with the 
word of God himself as it is found preserved for us in the 
Holy Scriptures. 

Theodore Roosevelt died with a book under his pillow. 
He was consuming the greatest ideas of others until the 
very last. There are many treasures and wonders on the 
bookshelf that are waiting to give us pleasure if we will 
only discover them. Robert Louis Stevenson always kept 
two books handy one to read from and one to write in. Early 
in everyone's life he ought to get the notebook habit, as 
one of die best ways to strengthen the mental side of his life. 

Then we come to the social side of our life's square. 
That is the side that regulates our relations with other people. 
That is the "service to our fellow men" side of life. The 
scouts have a very substantial idea of doing a good turn 
to someone every day. How can we better fulfill the in- 
struction of Jesus to love our fellow men than to serve 
them? Just suppose that you select five new people this 
month to show a real friendship for. Just suppose that you 
do some particular courtesy or thoughtfulness to five people 
and see what happens. At the end of a month you will have 
five new friends. But you will also have a deeper capacity 
for friendship and a far richer personality. In addition, think 
how greatly the friends themselves will have been helped! 
Our most valuable possessions are those that can be shared 
without lessening. In fact, our most valuable possessions 


actually multiply when they are shared. We should practice 
the philosophy of always having a little encouragement and 
some helpful ideas to give to others on every occasion. The 
philosopher said 

All who joy would win must share it 
Happiness was born a twin. 

The social side of life is one of doing things. The kind 
of people that Jesus liked most were the doers. We have 
lots of talkers, there are plenty of heads filled with knowl- 
edge, but there are not many people whose lives generate 
effective action. 

During the Spanish- American War, Theodore Roosevelt 
instructed his soldiers that, "There should be more shooting 
and less shouting, fewer words and more work. Words 
alone will not win a war, nor plow a field, nor construct a 
home, nor build a great nation, nor develop a productive 
personality. There must also be discipline, industry and 
service. Wearing the uniform does not make a man a sol- 
dier. A soldier is one who does things/' Even faith dies 
when works are omitted. 

Then we come to favor with God, which is the base of 
our checker. This involves the development of our spiritual 
health. Man is primarily spirit. One great man told of 
climbing up a trail toward a mountain peak. His five-year- 
old grandson was struggling to keep up. "Are you tired, 
Jimmy?" the grandfather asked. "My legs are tired," replied 
the grandson, "but myself isn't/* Myself was Jimmy's spirit. 
Climbing this trail was a great adventure for five-year-old 
Jimmy. Climbing the greater trail of life will be an even 
greater adventure for a twenty-year-old Jimmy, or a thirty- 
year-old Jimmy, yes, even a fifty-year-old Jimmy. As long 
as his spirit is in good condition, Jimmy will continue to 
climb. Tired? Of course, his body will get tired. But as 
long as Jimmy has a vigorous spirit to urge him upward, 


Jimmy will continue to reach higher peaks of accomplish- 
ment and give greater blessings of service. If this side of 
our nature is not adequately developed, then we begin to 
suffer from a dreadful lopsidedness. So often we are over- 
fed on one side of our natures, but look dismally thin and 
starved on the other. 

We remember the lopsided man who came out of the 
tombs in the land of the Gardarenes to meet Jesus. He had 
an unclean spirit. (Mark 5:5) This man reminds us that 
most of us have a job of housecleaning our spirits that needs 
to be done. Living right can be so much more pleasant 
than living wrong. Doing good is a far more thrilling ex- 
perience than doing evil. Physical sickness robs us of time, 
courage and money. But spiritual disease takes away our 
relish for living, destroys accomplishments, and even jeopar- 
dizes eternal life itself. 

It would be a poor general who would attack the enemy 
on three fronts and then lose the advantage by retreating 
on the fourth. Just so, it is poor strategy in the battle of 
life to stop with three-fourths of a victory when a complete 
triumph is within our reach. Spiritual success is our greatest 
"do-it-yourself* project. In the past we have left far too 
much of our spiritual development to the teachers, preachers, 
parents and friends. It is not possible to put on the radiant 
side of life just once a week like a Sunday suit and hope 
for a four-square life. Paul said to his young friend Timothy, 
"Stir up the gift of God which is within thee." That is a great 
idea. We must keep the base of our lives solid if we would 
avoid lopsidedness. 

It is wonderful to say our prayers every night, but they 
are not worth very much unless we take vigorous action on 
them tomorrow. We have spent billions of dollars to get 
a man into his orbit for a few trips around the earth. But 
a four-square life can get us into the orbit of God in the 
Celestial Kingdom forever, 

The Gift of Courage 

A A ANY YEARS ago the late Paul Speicher 
' * V wrote a magnificent litde book en- 
tided The Gift of Courage. In it he challenges our thinking 
with some interesting questions. He says, "If, as a gift, 
you could have your heart's desire, if you could have your 
fondest wish fulfilled, what would it be? Would you choose 
a million dollars, abounding health, a solution of your busi- 
ness worries, or would you choose to escape from those ills 
of life that are common to all men. What would make it 
easiest for you to solve your daily problems?'' 

Mr. Speicher points out that there is one gift that will 
best enable you to enjoy because you have fought, to rest 
because you have labored, to reap because you have sown. 
This magnificent gift lies within your easy reach. It will 
clear the troubled roadway ahead and set your feet firmly 
upon the pathway of real happiness. But only you can give 
it to yourself. This gift is the gift of courage. 

Mr. Speicher says that greater than intellect, experi- 
ence, ability or foresight, is that fighting edge that one has 
when he is not afraid. Then with self-confidence and en- 
thusiasm he answers the call to each day's struggle, and 
generates the drive that will carry him on to victory. 

James L. Allen says that you can never do anything 
worthwhile without courage. Next only to honor, courage 
is the greatest quality of the mind. 

Then Mr. Speicher says, "Give yourself the gift of cour- 
age. The courage to act now. The courage to meet the 
problems of life each day, to do those things that must 
be done, Without this gift we tend to sit and wait for fairer 


days while life slips through our listless fingers and is lost. 
For always when we waste life, life wastes us." 

O. Henry tells the story of a New York artist, who 
planned the masterpiece of his life. His picture was to be 
colossal. Those who heard him tell of his plans were thrilled 
by his conception. The work he expected to accomplish 
would send his name echoing forever down the ageless cor- 
ridors of time. It would make him the companion of the 
immortal da Vinci and the magnificent Rembrandt. But he 
couldn't start the picture today. Things weren't right. 
A touch of rheumatism., a lack of enthusiasm, a gloomy 
day, or a bad light held him back. His postponement con- 
tinued from week to week until one day they found him 
dead. His friends took up his lifeless body and buried it 
with his masterpiece still unborn. 

But you also have an unborn masterpiece. Someday 
you will do great things. Someday you are going to make 
a record that will surprise everyone. Someday the world 
will be startled by your accomplishments. Then you will 
surmount the troublesome problems that worry and dis- 
courage you. Someday you will cease to stand idly out- 
side the banquet hall of life, but you will work your way 
inside where the table of good things awaits you. 

However, the fabric of life is growing thinner every day, 
and many die before their masterpieces have been painted. 
Therefore, give yourself the gift of courage today. Take the 
first step now towards those wonderful goals that you have 
always talked about. Don't allow your dreams to be buried 
with you. The gift of courage will enhance the glory of 
your life. 

Then Mr. Speicher says, "Give yourself the courage to 
keep on trying." He asks when is a man a failure? Is he a 
failure when his business falls off, or when he stumbles in 
his effort? Is he a failure when he makes a mistake or when 
his goals are not realized? Disheartening as these things may 


be, they do not make any man a failure. A man is a failure 
only when he quits trying and contents himself to live at 
less than his best. We should write this truth deep into our 
hearts and come back to it again and again. No one belongs 
to himself alone, and we have no right to stamp the ugly 
sign of failure on our foreheads for want of the courage to 
try again. 

If you could look into the inner life of almost any success- 
ful man, you would find long months and longer years when 
nothing that he did seemed to bring results. You would find 
him, time and again, despairing of the achievement that he 
sought. And yet you would find him working on in spite of 
his despair. He finally became a great success because he 
kept trying. If he had stopped trying, at that very moment 
he would have been a dismal failure. But thank God for 
the courage to try again. 

Washington met the most serious adversity at Valley 
Forge, but he didn't stop. Lincoln fought despair and mel- 
ancholia all of his life, but he kept on going. Paul the Apostle 
said, "I fight on lest I myself should be a castaway." And 
Jesus said, "He that endureth to the end shall be saved." 
Then give yourself that gift that makes you continue to climb 
the mountain of life. And when you slip back, may you have 
that sublime quality that keeps you from shedding a tear. 

Give yourself the courage that led Henley, a hopeless 
cripple, to sing victoriously, 

It matters not how straight the gate, 
How charged with punishments the scroll; 
I am the master of my fate, 
I am the captain of my soul. 

Give yourself the courage to build a philosophy of life 
by which you can live as God intended. Granted integrity 
and intelligence, most men need only a little added courage 
to rise to the stars. 


Give yourself the courage to meet life's little tests. The 
things that batter down morale and make us feel that we 
can never again pick up the load, are not the big things but 
the little things, not the grave emergencies, but the insignifi- 
cant irritations. A thousand and one petty disturbances gnaw 
at our patience, upset our poise, and work us into a state of 
nervous instability, until we feel that we can no longer stand 
the strain. It is these little things that stretch us on the rack 
until the cords of poise and patience break. 

Usually we can find the courage to face life's big tests. 
What we need most is the courage to follow the routine of 
life, the courage to stick to our plans, the courage to keep 
petty distractions from sidetracking our efforts, the courage 
to keep going hour after hour and day after day. We need 
to give ourselves the courage that strengthened the heart of 
Columbus and held him steadfast while he sailed into un- 
known seas. And through the dark days and stormy nights, 
enabled him to greet his fear-stricken sailors with the cry of 
faith and say, "Sail on! Sail on! Sail on and on!" 

Then give yourself the courage to utilize your full poten- 
tial. We remember the story from the old fifth reader of the 
lion cub lost in a flock of sheep. As he grew up he ran and 
played with the sheep and behaved like a sheep, and he be- 
lieved that he was a sheep. Then one day on the distant 
skyline there appeared the silhouette of a great lion. His 
head was thrown back, his tail was lashing about him. With 
a great roar, the lion on the hillside sent his voice across the 
fields of the valley below. Then the lion playing with the 
sheep stopped his playing. Something stirred within him. 
Like was calling to like. Then he knew that he was a lion 
and not a sheep, and with an answering roar that sent the 
timid sheep scattering before him, the lion with the sheep 
ran to join the lion on the mountainside. 

Sometimes we go on and on through life while the lion 
sleeps within us, never realizing that our lot in life is not 


in the meadows with the sheep, but on the mountainside with 
the lions. 

Some of us never really make an earnest attempt to 
arouse and to utilize the potential power that creation has 
placed within us, because we are satisfied to measure our 
records against the ordinary. We have far too much satis- 
faction in mediocrity. The man who is only average is as 
close to the bottom of life as he is to the top. The average 
man frequently lays aside creation's design for his life and 
accepts mediocrity in its place. 

Once upon a time when a middle-aged man was clear- 
ing out the rubbish from his attic, he discovered an old note- 
book that he had kept as a boy. Its pages were discolored 
by the years, but it contained the plans that long ago he had 
set down for himself. It mentioned great things to be done 
and definite ways of doing them. It told of a life that some- 
day would amount to something. He would make a name 
that would be reckoned with. The man sat down on the 
attic stairs and slowly read each page, without the heart 
to throw the book away. It was the biography of the man 
he meant to be. It was the specifications of the man that he 
might have been. The dreams of his youth had not become 
the accomplishments of his later years, because he had be- 
come content to measure his efforts and their rewards by 
those of average men. Think what it would mean to some- 
day meet the man you might have been. The poet says: 

Across the fields of yesterday, 
He sometimes comes to me. 
A little lad just back from play, 
The lad I used to be. 

And yet lie smiles so wistfully, 
Once lie has crept within. 
I wonder if he hopes to see 
The man he might have been. 


Give yourself the courage to dream of the man you may 
become. This God-given ability to dream great dreams was 
not given us to mock us. Therefore give yourself the cour- 
age to say 

Though everything looks dark and drear 

I shall succeed. 

Though failure's voice speaks in my ear, 

I shall succeed. 

I do not fear misfortune's blow. 

I tower with strength above each foe. 

I stand erect because I know 

I shall succeed. 

Night swoops on me with blackest wings, 

But 111 succeed. 

I see the stars that darkness brings, 

And 111 succeed. 

No force on earth shall make me cower 

Because each moment and each hour, 

I still affirm with strength and power, . 

I shall succeed. 

Give yourself the courage to believe with Paul that, "All 
things work together for the good of them that love God." 
The world is planned for good. Night is as necessary as day. 
Labor is as important as ease. Uphill is as good as down- 
hill. Sickness and death serve us quite as well as health and 
strength. The test is, whether we love God, whether we think 
right, whether we have the courage to do the best we know. 
We should never let the consequences of right frighten us. 
We should be as brave as the little boy who used to be 
awakened night after night screaming because of a repeated 
nightmare in which he met a great tiger. He was so affected 
by his nightly terror that his parents counseled with a physi- 
cian who said to the little boy, "The next time you dream 
about the tiger, say to yourself, 'This nice old tiger hasn't 
come to hurt me. He wants to be my friend. I am going to 
walk right up and pat him on the head/" 


The boy agreed, and that night the anxious parents stole 
into his room. There he lay tossing nervously in his sleep. 
Then they saw his face whiten, his breath grew shorter and 
through tightly closed lips the father and mother heard a 
desperate little voice saying, "I am not afraid. I know you 
want to be my friend. I am going to walk right up and pat 
you on the head." Then the little boy smiled in his sleep, 
and the parents knew that the tiger would never again send 
him screaming from his bed. Give yourself the courage to 
meet the tigers of life. 

Fears, problems and discouragements are all a part of 
life. But they do not come to hurt us. If we love God every 
problem will be our blessing in disguise and we will hear 
the voice of the Master saying to us, "Lo, it is I, be not 
afraid/' May God help us to live at our best by giving to 
ourselves the gift of courage. 


\\ /E HAVE a very interesting custom 
^ * among us o setting aside 
special days on which we think about special things. For 
example, we set aside the second Sunday in May as Mother's 
Day and we let our minds reach up and try to understand 
the purposes for which the day was set apart. We set apart 
the third Sunday in June as Father's Day for the same reason. 
And somebody has pointed out that the human mind has 
some of the qualities of the tendrils of a climbing vine. It 
tends to attach itself and draw itself upward by what it is 
put in contact with. 

We have some other interesting days when we put 
our minds in contact with other wonderful ideas. We have 
Easter and Memorial Day and Christmas. We set aside the 
fourth day of July as our nation's birthday. This is the 
day when we think about our freedom and try to understand 
what it means and what it has cost, and what our lives 
might be like if it were lost. 

Then as one of the most interesting and beneficial of 
all of our special days, we set aside the fourth Thursday in 
November as Thanksgiving. This is a day when we count 
our blessings and express our thanks for the many good 
things of life. On this day we try to build gratitude into 
our lives by thinking and doing those things appropriate to 
this day. It is an interesting fact that as we identify and 
recount our blessings we increase their power to benefit us. 
Of all of the virtues, gratitude is one of the most beautiful 
as well as one of the most worthwhile. Cicero, the ancient 
Roman statesman, calls gratitude "the mother of virtues." 
For once it is established in one's life, it begets a whole line 
of the most worthwhile posterity. 


Gratitude and goodness are almost synonymous terms. 
They are inseparably united in people's hearts. It would 
be very difficult to be grateful without being good, or to be 
good without being grateful. Gratitude is one of those cap- 
ital virtues that should be most eagerly sought and enthu- 
siastically practiced. 

Our great country was born in gratitude as the Pilgrim 
Fathers knelt at Jamestown and Plymouth Rock to thank 
God for their lives, their freedom and each other. Then 
when the first harvests were gathered in their new land, a 
time was set apart for prayer, feasting and thanksgiving. The 
virtue of gratitude is not only one of the most helpful to us, 
but it is also one of the most pleasing to God. 

Jesus himself is our greatest exemplar of this godly 
quality. Jesus was always giving thanks for even the most 
simple things. There was a continual daily outpouring of 
his spirit to God. The sacrament is a prayer of thanksgiving 
coupled with a promise to remember. Most of the miracles 
of Jesus were preceded by an expression of gratitude. 

But sometimes we can understand a thing best by think- 
ing about it on both its positive and its negative sides. That 
is, gratitude shines brightest when contrasted with the dis- 
mal vice of ingratitude and the blight and heartaches that 
go with it. And just as gratitude is the mother of virtues, 
so ingratitude becomes the mother of evil. 

Swift said, "He who calls a man ungrateful sums up 
all the evil of which one can be guilty/' And Shakespeare 
said, "I hate ingratitude in man more than lying, vainness, 
babbling, drunkenness or any other taint or vice whose strong 
corruption inhabits our frail blood/' 

One of our greatest literary classics is Shakespeare's 
masterpiece King Lear. Here Shakespeare shows us ingrati- 
tude at its naked worst, as ungrateful children tread upon 
the disappointed broken heart of their sire. As King Lear 
began to get old, he decided to place the affairs of the empire 


in younger hands, and accordingly divided the kingdom be- 
tween his two daughters. Immediately after the transfer 
had been completed the children turned upon their father, 
and their ingratitude with its companion sins, drove him in- 
sane. In his despair and heartbreak the old king said: "How 
sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child." 
He said, "Ingratitude, thou marble hearted fiend more hid- 
eous when thou showest thee in a child than in a sea monster." 
Then Shakespeare wrote his famous lines saying: 

Blow, blow thou winter wind 
Thou art not so unkind 
As man's ingratitude. 
Thy tooth is not so keen 
Because thou art not seen 
Although thy breath be rude. 

Freeze, freeze thou bitter sky 
Thou dost not bite so nigh 
As benefits forgot. 
Thou, thou the waters warp 
Thy sting is not so sharp 
As friend remembered not. 

But Shakespeare's tragedy also serves us as a kind of 
miniature reflection of what often takes place in the larger 
family of God, where we frequently see people receive gifts 
and then turn against the giver. The two greatest of the 
religious commandments are largely built upon gratitude. 
One has to do with our devotion to God, and the other with 
the love and service we render our fellow man. God is our 
Father. He created us. Our interests are his interests. He 
gives us life and vitality. He lends us breath. He enlightens 
our minds and quickens our understandings. Every day lie 
sends us energy, food and vitality from the sun. More than 
any other thing he desires our eternal exaltation. He has a 
holy hunger for our success and happiness. 

Then how frequently we show ourselves like the un- 
worthy children of King Lear as we repudiate God's teaching 


and commit sins that are repulsive to him. We commonly 
take his name in vain and treat him with such ingratitude 
and disrespect as would break the heart of any godly Father. 
In King Lear, Shakespeare tried to show us how far this vice 
can go. Ingratitude in children can bring parental torments 
sufficient to unbalance their minds. But how much more 
intense must be the suffering of our Eternal Father when his 
children are unfaithful. When Jesus took upon himself our 
sins, the torment caused him to sweat great drops of blood 
at every pore. But vicarious suffering does not stop here. 
King Lear also suffered for the sins of his unrighteous chil- 
dren, and this is the burden and most serious unhappiness of 
many parents. 

The scriptures tell of a woman whose daughter was 
possessed of an evil spirit. In great agony the mother came 
to Jesus and said, "Have mercy on me, oh Lord, . . . my 
daughter is grievously vexed with a devil." Jesus told the 
woman that his mission was only to the lost sheep of the 
house of Israel. But although she was not an Israelite she 
would not be put off. She continued to cry, "Have mercy on 
me." She was suffering for the affliction of her daughter. She 
did not say to Jesus, "Help my daughter/' She said, "Help 
me/' She didn't say, "My daughter is suffering"; she said, 
"I am suffering/' Then in granting her the blessing she sought 
Jesus said to her, "Be it unto thee even as thou wilt/' And 
her daughter was made whole from that very hour. Jesus 
didn't say, "Be it unto your daughter as thou wilt," but he said, 
"Be it unto thee even as thou wilt." The mother's suffering 
was relieved only when her child had been cured. And so 
it must always be with good parents, including God. 

Think of the suffering we could lift from others if we 
cleansed ourselves of evil, for not only God and our parents 
but everyone else suffers for our sins, A challenging poem 
has been written entitled: 



"Suppose," said I, "you chanced to see 
A small boy tumble from a tree, 
How would you tell that tale to me?" 

"Why, Dad/* said he, "I'd simply say 
I saw a boy get hurt today. 
And two men carried him away." 

"How many injured would there be?" 
1 asked. "Just one, of course/' said he. 
"The boy who tumbled from the tree." 

"No, no," I answered him, "That fall 
Which hurt the lad brought pain to all 
Who knew and loved that youngster small. 

"His mother wept, his father sighed, 
His brothers and his sisters cried, 
And all his friends were hurt inside. 

"Remember this your whole life through 
Whatever pain may come to you 
Must hurt all those who love you too. 

"You cannot live your life alone, 
We suffer with your slightest groan, 
And make your pain and grief our own. 

"If you should do one shameful thing, 
You cannot bear alone the sting, 
We spend our years in suffering. 

"How many hurt, we cannot state, 
There never falls a blow of fate, 
But countless people feel its weight." 

Wisconsin Public Service Co. 

And some of the worst of our sins and the most painful 
of our sufferings are caused by the base evil of ingratitude. 

On the other hand, what a beautiful and uplifting grace 
is thankfulness. Gratitude and appreciation are primary parts 
of worship. And just as there are very few things that can 
make an earthly father feel better than sincere appreciation 


from his children, so also our Heavenly Father is pleased 
when we show our appreciation in our worship. And who 
is more entitled to our gratitude than God? We would be 
most grateful to a friend who gave us money, land or other 
wealth. Then why aren't we more thankful to him who gives 
us the freedom and command of the whole earth? He gives 
us the blessing of life and health and our families and our 
reason and his eternal glory. Then why should we so fre- 
quently think of ourselves as under no obligation to God? 
What ambition could be more worthwhile than gratitude to 
our Heavenly Father? Shakespeare cried out, "Oh God who 
lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness." 
The worship that is most acceptable always comes from a 
thankful, cheerful, loving heart. And our main Thanksgiving 
prayer might well include Kipling's phrase, "Lord God of 
hosts, be with us yet, lest we forget, lest we forget/' 

Seneca says, "If I only have the will to be grateful, I 
am so/* But again eternal vigilance is the price of safety, 
and we can fall into this ugly sin of ingratitude almost with- 
out knowing it. 

I know of a man who has a rather severe physical afflic- 
tion. This affliction has aroused a sympathy in other people 
that has caused them to go out of their way to help him. 
Through a long practice of receiving favors, he has come to 
expect them as a right. Probably because his attention has 
been so centered in himself he has never learned to be grate- 
ful. Although he is now in comfortable circumstances finan- 
cially, he continues to receive favors but renders none. To 
his mind his affliction gives him a kind of immunity from the 
normal calls of service required of others. 

In 'hiding behind this shield where he is protected from 
the normal bumps and jars of life, he has become unduly 
critical. Unconsciously relying on the fact that others will 
not fight back, he accepts kindnesses, and then treats his 


friends in some measure as King Lear's daughters treated 
their father. 

It is so easy to develop an attitude toward life similar 
to that of a child who demands everything of a parent, and 
then after the service the parent is rejected as King Lear 
was rejected and as God is often rejected. We frequently 
get as many favors as we can from life and from God, but we 
render as few as possible. Therefore every day in some degree 
we are re-enacting the tragedy of King Lear in our own lives. 
To accept favors and give none is ingratitude, but to accept 
favors and give injury is sin. Ingratitude in us even deprives 
God of some of his ability to help us. And John Bunyon 
has said, "He who forgets his friend is ungrateful to his friend; 
but he who forgets his Savior is unmerciful unto himself." 

What a thrilling day we have in Thanksgiving, a day 
set apart to build the traits of gratitude and appreciation 
more solidly into our lives, and may God bless us in our effort 
so to do. 

His Many Mansions 

ONE OF THE most interesting of all of 
life's great questions is recorded 

in the 13th chapter of Luke. Luke says, that as Jesus went 
through the streets and villages teaching ". . . said one unto 
him, Lord, are there few that be saved?" (Luke 13:23.) 
In the language of our day this man might have said, "Lord 
of all of the billions of God's children who live upon the 
earth, how many will be saved in the kingdom of heaven?" 
This question was not only a very important one for the 
people of that day, but nothing could be more important 
to us. What are our chances for earning happiness and suc- 
cess for that interesting period which lies beyond this life? 
Apparently Jesus did not consider the question as an im- 
proper one in any way, and yet he did not give his ques- 
tioner an answer. Instead he used the question as a kind 
of text upon which he gave to those around him a brief ad- 
dress on some other subjects. He may have purposely evaded 
the question, because his listeners were not prepared to 
understand the answers, or he may have given them an 
answer that was not recorded. We know that a very large 
majority of the answers of Jesus never got into the Bible. 
If all of the recorded sayings of Jesus were put together they 
could be read in about thirty minutes. Whereas, the Apostle 
John says, "And there are also many other things which Jesus 
did which if they should be written every one, I suppose that 
even the world itself could not contain the books that should 
be written." ( John 21 : 25. ) 

Not only were most of the statements of Jesus left out 
of the Bible, but even those that were put in were not gen- 
erally believed by the people who heard them. And one of 
the doctrines that they seemed especially confused about 


was how many would be saved. Like many of the people 
of our day, some of those who lived in the time of Jesus be- 
lieved that there were only two places for people to go after 
the resurrection; one was called heaven and the other was 
called hell. Some believed that all of those who didn't qualify 
to live with God in heaven were consigned to dwell forever 
with Satan in hell. But, in the great discourse given to the 
Apostles immediately prior to his death, Jesus helped to set 
us straight when he gave a partial answer to this important 
question. He said, "In my Father's house are many man- 
sions." (John 14:2.) Nothing could be more reasonable 
than the great Christian doctrine that in the future life there 
will be as many mansions or gradations of conditions, or 
degrees of glory, as there are degrees of merit in the lives of 
people. This idea is further explained by the Apostle Paul, 
in writing to the Corinthians about the resurrection, he said, 
"There are also celestial bodies and bodies terrestrial. But 
the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial 
is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory 
of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star 
differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrec- 
tion of the dead." (I Corinthians 15:40-42.) 

In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul gave the 
names of two of these heavens or glories as the Celestial and 
the Terrestrial, He mentions a third, but does not give us 
its name. Modern revelation supplies this missing informa- 
tion and tells us that this lowest glory is called the Telestial. 
Paul very aptly compared these three degrees of glory to 
the respective brilliancy of the sun, the moon, and the stars. 
There are also gradations within these three general subdi- 
visions, for Paul says, "One star differeth from another star 
in glory. So also is the resurrection from the dead." How- 
ever, Paul did not tell us very much about these various glories 
or who would qualify for them. What information could be 
more important to our salvation than this, and yet it is not 
given any place in the Bible? although it was plainly men- 


tioned, indicating that it was taught as one of the doctrines 
of Christ. 

However, in 1882 the Lord again took up this subject, 
this time through the Prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rig- 
don. The prophet tells us of this circumstance as follows: 
"For while we were doing the work of translation, which the 
Lord had appointed unto us, we came to the twenty-ninth 
verse of the fifth chapter of John, which was given unto us 
as follows: Speaking of the resurrection of the dead, con- 
cerning those who shall hear the voice of the Son of Man, and 
shall come forth They who have done good in the resurrec- 
tion of the just, and they who have done evil in the resurrec- 
tion of the unjust Now this caused us to marvel, for it was 
given unto us of the Spirit. And while we meditated upon 
these things, the Lord touched the eyes of our understand- 
ings and they were opened, and the glory of the Lord shone 
around about/' ( D&C 76 : 15-19. ) 

Then the Lord gave one of the greatest revelations ever 
recorded. It fully answers the old question of how many 
shall be saved, and it tells what the condition of each group 
will be. It enables us to prejudge ourselves and determine 
in advance to which of these kingdoms we will belong after 
the resurrection. Concerning the Celestial, or the one that 
Paul describes as the glory of the sun, the Lord said, "They 
are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed 
on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, 
being buried in the water in his name, and this according to 
the commandment which he has given/* (D&C 76:51.) He 
says, "These shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ 
forever and ever." "These are they who are just men made 
perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who 
wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of 
his own blood/' "These are they whose bodies are celestial, 
whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the 
highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written 
of as being typical/' (D&C 76:64, 69, 70.) This group is 


comparatively small in number and is the group referred to 
by Jesus when he said, "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the 
way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." 
(Matt, 7:14.) 

It is the greatest tragedy of our world that only "a few'' 
of God's children will ever find their way to this tremendous 
place called the glory of the sun. The Celestial order is the 
one to which God himself belongs. In it will be found the 
highest of all possible standards of living, the greatest pos- 
sible happiness and glory. But all of those who don't quali- 
fy for this extreme exaltation will not be lost. The prophet 
tells of the next lower order, which is represented by the 
moon. Of it he says, "And again we saw the terrestrial 
world, and behold and lo, these are they who are of the 
terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the 
Firstborn who have received the fulness of the Father, even 
as that of the moon differs from the sun in the firmament. 
Behold these are they who died without law; and also they 
who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the Son 
visited, and preached the gospel unto them, that they might 
be judged according to men in the flesh; who received not 
the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterward received it. 
. . . These are they who receive of his glory, but not of his 
fulness. These are they who receive of the presence of the 
Son, but not the fulness of the Father. Wherefore, they are 
bodies terrestrial and not bodies celestial, and differ in glory 
as the moon Differs from the sun. These are they who are not 
valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not 
the crown over the kingdom of our God/' (D&C 76:71-79. ) 

Here a striking contrast is drawn between those who ob- 
tain Celestial exaltation and those who receive only Terres- 
trial salvation. To attain the latter one does not need to be 
baptized into the church of Christ nor to be valiant in serving 
him. In this glory will be found the honorable men of the 
earth according to human standards. They shall inherit great 
glory and will have great power and wonderful opportunity, 


but they will not have a fulness. They will be saved, yet 
they must be content with something less fine and far less 
glorious than those who are exalted in the Celestial king- 
dom. The number qualifying for the Terrestrial kingdom are 
far more numerous than those in the Celestial. 

Then this revelation gives a description of the conditions 
of those qualifying for the lowest order of glory. They are 
as far below the Terrestrial as the light of the stars is below 
the luster of the bright full moon. They are they who make 
their way to glory through the fires of hell, where for a time 
they endure the suffering of the damned. Of this kingdom 
the prophet said, "And again, we saw the glory of the Teles- 
tial, which glory is that of the lesser, even as the glory of the 
stars differ from that of the glory of the moon in the firma- 
ment. These are they who receive not the gospel of Christ, 
neither the testimony of Jesus. . . . These are they who are 
thrust down to hell. These are they who shall not be re- 
deemed from the devil until the last resurrection, until the 
Lord, even Christ the Lamb, shall have finished his work." 
(D&C 76:81-85) These ". . . received not the gospel neither 
the testimony of Jesus, neither the prophets, neither the ever- 
lasting covenant. . . . These are they who are liars and sorcer- 
ers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves 
and makes a lie. These are they who suffer the wrath of God 
on earth. These are they who suffer the vengeance of eternal 
fire. These are they who are cast down to hell and suffer 
the wrath of Almighty God until the fulness of times, when 
Christ shaU have . . . perfected his work." (D&C 76:101-106.) 

The Telestial glory is the most numerous of any of the 
three orders. The Lord says that this group is "as innumer- 
able as the stars in the firmament of heaven, or as the sand 
upon the seashore/ 7 (D&C 76:109.) It may seem a little 
strange to designate the Telestial order as a kingdom of glory 
when within it are to be found those who have been thrust 
down to hell. The answer is found in the fact that this sec- 
ond resurrection does not take place until after the thousand 


years of the Millennium has been finished, and those quali- 
fying for the Telestial glory will have been purified in the 
fires of suffering and will have in some measure paid the 
penalty for their sins. Then, through repentance and forgive- 
ness, their suffering will be abated. One of the most glorious 
and merciful of all the Christian doctrines is that hell has an 
exit as well as an entrance, and when the sentence has been 
served and retribution has been made then the prison doors 
shall swing open and the repentant captive shall be brought 
forth. Not to the supreme exaltation of the Celestial King- 
dom, but to the exact order to which his life entitles him, 

But, even of this lowest degree of glory the prophet said, 
"And thus we saw, in the heavenly vision, the glory of the 
telestial, which surpasses all understanding." (D&C 76:89.) 
We cannot comprehend even the glory of the lesser of God's 
kingdoms of glory. This agrees with the Apostle Paul, who 
says, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered 
into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared 
for them that love him." (I Cor. 2:9.) 

But in addition to the three kingdoms of glory, there is 
another kingdom, which is not a kingdom of glory. Far be- 
low the Telestial order is the place prepared for the devil 
and his angels, which shall be shared with those unfortunate 
few of earth's children who have sinned unto death. These 
are called sons of perdition. These are they who have sinned 
in full consciousness, they have become and remain willfully 
degenerate, denying the Christ and the Holy Ghost after the 
divine testimony has been given them. The comparative few 
who reach this state of extreme condemnation are doomed to 
remain in hell with the devil and his angels throughout eter- 
nity. Of these the Lord said, "Thus saith the Lord concern- 
ing all those who know my power, and have been made par- 
takers thereof, and suffered themselves through the power of 
the devil to be overcome, and to deny the truth and defy my 
power they are they who are the sons of perdition, of whom 


I say that it had been better for them never to have been 
born." (D&C 76:31-32) 

Here then we have the Lord's own answer to the im- 
portant question, "Shall many or few be saved/* The answer 
is that he saves all of the works of his hands except a com- 
paratively few who will be cast out forever. All of the rest 
shall be saved in one of the kingdoms of glory. 

Jesus was not given the designation of "Savior" and "Re- 
deemer" because he saves only a few. He saves almost all of 
God's children, even though it requires the assistance of the 
fires of hell in some cases. But by the kind of lives we live we 
ourselves must select the order of glory to which we will be- 
long. It is the law of God that we may have any blessing 
that we are willing to live for. What a thrilling idea that by 
our faithfulness we may make our way to that wonderful 
place described as "the Glory of the Sun." 

Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother 

\\/HEN ONE is able to make an im- 
W portant idea fully usable by liis 

mind and personality, an exciting, uplifting improvement is 
bound to take place in his life. One of the most thrilling 
and worthwhile of these stimulating situations can be brought 
about by mastering the fifth commandment. From the top 
of Mt. Sinai, amid fire and the vapors of smoke, the Lord 
said, "Honor thy father and thy mother: . . /' (Exodus 20:12) 

Trying to understand as nearly as possible what the Lord 
had in mind, I recently looked up the meaning of the word 
"Tionor." The dictionary says that honor denotes trust- 
worthiness. In its highest sense it typifies what is right, and 
the course of an honorable life is always based on the highest 
and most worthy principles. 

As an illustration of honor we might think of the life 
of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln based his life on honesty, 
fairness and righteousness. Just before Lincoln's mother died 
she said to her nine-year-old son, "Abe, go out there and 
amount to something/' And throughout eternity Nancy 
Hanks Lincoln will receive honor because Abe strictly fol- 
lowed her direction. Forever, Lincoln's mother will receive 
great pride, joy and happiness that could never have come 
to her in any other way. But Lincoln also honored his coun- 
try. He honored the people of his day and the people of all 
future generations will join with Nancy Hanks Lincoln to 
share in his glory. 

If you would personally like to have a thrilling experi- 
ence, just try to live what God had in mind on that memor- 
able occasion 34 centuries ago, when out through the 
thunders and lightnings of Sinai came that thrilling command 


saying, "Honor thy father and thy mother: . . ." Or we might 
try to understand the feelings that God had for his own 
son, when on four different occasions he has said, "This is 
my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased/' 

In giving us this ennobling commandment, God was 
trying to elevate us to a higher rank and inspire us to live 
lives of greater distinction. How can any parents experience 
a greater thrill of joy than that which comes from being hon- 
ored by righteous children? Of course, some races and some 
individuals develop this trait to a greater degree than others. 

Not long ago a New York judge wrote to the New York 
Times saying that in the seventeen years he had been on 
the bench, not one Chinese teenager had ever been brought 
before him on a charge of juvenile delinquency. Then P. 
H. Chang, Chinese Consul General in New York commented 
that he had heard this statement made many times before 
by other judges. Love of family seems to be a cardinal 
virtue among the Chinese. Chinese children are brought up 
with a great ambition to honor their fathers and mothers. 
Before a Chinese child does anything of consequence, he is 
taught to determine what the effect will be upon his parents. 
And what could be more ennobling to the child than this 
adoration of parents? How far superior is such a life to that 
of the young man or woman who thinks only of his or her 
own pleasure, and characterizes his life by disrespect and 
disregard for those who brought him into the world. 

Of course, the home is the place where this super virtue 
is most readily developed. A child's disinclination toward 
delinquency will usually bear a direct relationship to his 
desire to honor his parents. If a child feels he must do some- 
thing wrong in order to please ill-advised associates, he will 
still think the importance thus attained not worth while if 
it makes him ashamed in the presence of the greater love 
existing in his own home. 


Of course, the importance of this parent-child relation- 
ship runs in both directions, and this tremendous command- 
ment implies that the parents must merit the love and respect 
of their children. The children must know that their parents 
love truth and always stand for what is right. Then the 
children can always keep the compasses of their lives regu- 
lated, because the parents serve as their North Star. 

What a tragedy takes place when for any reason chil- 
dren are cut loose from godly parental influence! There are 
very few good substitutes for parents, and when substitutions 
have been attempted all too frequently confidences have 
been misplaced and eternal lives have been lost. 

Better than anyone else, parents are equipped by crea- 
tion to perform this magnificent office of furnishing guidance 
for their offspring. In order to get this association off to a 
good start creation ordained that the first few years of this 
parent-child relationship should be given an enlarged im- 
portance in the eyes of both parents and children. Of course, 
this stimulating mutual adoration may grow weak or lapse 
if it is not continually merited and strengthened. For honor 
cannot be commanded, and love cannot be enforced. There 
must be mutual confidence and a stimulating example. No 
"do as I say, not as I do" philosophy can take the place of 
an actual demonstration of righteousness. We recall that 
stimulating line from Emerson saying, "I cannot hear what 
you say, for what you are is thundering in my ears/' 

Probably we can best develop a proper appreciation of 
this parent-child relationship by thinking about it on both 
its positive and its negative sides. That is, the opposite of 
honor is dishonor. Dishonor means shame, infamy, and dis- 
credit There is probably nothing quite so tragic as children 
who dishonor noble parents. 

Some time ago I interviewed a mother who had re- 
cently made two attempts to commit suicide, one by taking 


poison, and the other by slashing her wrists. She had had 
a very unhappy life. Her husband had been brutal and had 
abdicated his paternal office at a very early date, leaving 
her to be both father and mother. 

Because of her need to make a living, her son was left 
alone much of the time. In the process he had fallen into 
undesirable company, and as he adopted the ways of sin he 
came to resent and blame his righteous mother. She used 
up her meager resources to get him out of one scrape 
after another. And in each transgression she was humiliated 
before her friends. Her spirit was demoralized and she came 
to feel inferior even in her own eyes. But she continued to 
follow her son through the filthy paths of evil until he arrived 
at the federal penitentiary. 

His mother tried to visit him at the prison, but he would 
not even see her. On their occasional contacts he said bitter, 
unkind things causing her great anguish and a broken heart. 
In a desperate attempt to be a good mother she had centered 
her life in him, but he had responded negatively. Yet even 
now if she could, she would gladly take his place in the 
penitentiary or endure beatings, starvation or the most severe 
physical torture, if only for a few hours she could hold in 
her heart the mental picture of an honorable, godly son. 
Though she lives without hope in her own life she continues 
to pray that God will let her re-enact Gethsemane, and take 
his sins upon her own soul in order to leave him clean and 
honorable for eternity. But this mother's prayers cannot be 
answered by anyone except her own son, and his only desire 
seems to be to dishonor and torture her by his evil. Not only 
does his life dishonor his mother, but it dishonors God and 
all his fellow beings. Everyone is hurt by his evil deeds and 
even if the mother's next suicide attempt should be success- 
ful, how can she ever escape his sins? Or how can she forget 
her son, even in eternity? Her body was the mold in which 
he was formed. She loved him into life and has supported 


him with her whole soul, in return for which he will probably 
continue to bring her misery and torture throughout this 
life and eternity as well. 

I have frequently tried to imagine what emotions are 
produced in the heart of our Heavenly Father when his 
children are dishonorable, rebellious and shameful. How 
could his suffering be less than that of a righteous earthly 
parent? We remember the great drops of blood shed in the 
pain of Gethsemane. We know that godly parents still suffer 
the greatest torments for the evil of their children. It is 
characteristic that many people still love Satan more than 
God. Men and women continue in their unrighteousness. God 
hates evil and he can never do otherwise. Therefore, our 
unrighteousness must always make him unhappy. In several 
places the scriptures refer to "the anger of the Lord." What 
a serious situation is involved when we go so far as to arouse 
God's anger! Think how sorrowful God must have felt when 
he decided to destroy his children by the Flood. But as 
regrettable as the death of their bodies must have been to 
him, it was less serious than to allow them to continue on 
in their defiling sins and thereby bring death upon their souls. 

Some time ago a loving and devoted mother was bidding 
farewell to her son as he left home to serve two years in the 
army. Out of a heart overflowing with love for his fine, 
clean manhood and excellent spirit, she told him that she 
would rather have him return to her in his coffin, than to 
come back without his honor. Apparently the Lord also feels 
that physical death is far more to be desired than the spiritual 
death caused by sin. To this end the Lord has given us 
something to think about when commenting about our own 
future he said, "Behold, the day of the Lord cometh . . . 
both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: 
and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it** (Isaiah 
13:9) "For great is the anger and the fury that the Lord 
hath pronounced against his people/' (Jeremiah 36:7) 


It is a sinful thing to grieve and dishonor godly parents. 
Our sins distract them in their work and we may continually 
torment them even though they have spent their lives in 
our service. But how much worse it is to distract and 
grieve our Heavenly Father to such an extreme that he would 
rather see us occupy untimely graves than to continue to live 
ungodly lives! 

I have thought that God must feel a good deal like 
one couple for whom I have always had great respect. They 
were always very good parents. They were industrious and 
thrifty. They built a home that was a delight. It was the 
center of family devotion and love. Regular prayers were 
said, and blessings were asked upon all. Every possible 
good thing was done for the family members. The parents 
took real delight in helping their children to get good educa- 
tions, firm convictions of faith and in every other way help 
them to get a good start in life. 

But one of the children made it very difficult for the 
parents. While they were trying their best to help him he 
was doing the very things that displeased them most. How 
difficult it is to lavish praise and love and material blessings 
on a wicked, rebellious child who continually insists on un- 
truth, disobedience and uncleanliness! Continuing in his 
evil this young man married a wife with attitudes and stand- 
ards closely corresponding to his own. He broke his par- 
ents' hearts and helped to put them into premature graves. 
After they had passed away, he and his wife moved into the 
old family home. What a change in spirit they immediately 
brought upon it. It now reeks with the stale, unpleasant 
smell of tobacco and liquor. You feel the coarseness of the 
lives of the occupants the minute you step inside the door. 
Now no prayers are ever said, and no blessings are ever asked 
for anyone, even for themselves. The name of God goes 
unmentioned except in profane oaths. How could these par- 
ents be happy even in paradise with the knowledge that the 


family shrine they built and loved as a center of worship 
and family devotion has now become a den of evil, where 
grandchildren are being trained in wickedness to bring eter- 
nal destruction upon their own souls! 

With this situation as a starting point can we imagine 
how God must feel when year after year, and generation 
after generation, the children for whom he has such great 
love continue to rebel against righteousness? God hates 
evil far more than these earthly parents and yet throughout 
our lives we sometimes force him to observe it day after day, 
night after night, and year after year. 

How vigorously we should avoid sin and what tremen- 
dous privilege it should be for us to live honorably! What 
a great joy we should get from honoring our parents, and 
even more from honoring God! The scriptures are clear 
on the point that there is great joy in heaven over one soul 
that repents and turns to righteousness. And if we know the 
thrilling experience that we get from bringing joy and happi- 
ness to our earthly parents, how much more exciting should 
be the thought of pleasing God? Happiness is the purpose 
of life. "Men are that they might have joy/' And the most 
exquisite joy always comes to us as we bring it to someone 
else. The key to one of life's most important secrets can 
be found in that great commandment wherein God our 
eternal Father has said, "Honor thy father and thy mother: 
that thy days may be long upon die land which the Lord 
thy God giveth thee." 

The Hour of Decision 

"T~HE GREAT evangelist Billy Graham 
' has a coast-to-coast religious radio 

program entitled, "The Hour of Decision/' The central pur- 
pose of Reverend Graham's ministry is to get people to make 
some firm decisions about the great religious truths. One 
of the most destructive difficulties presently plaguing our 
world is our human weakness of failing to make up our minds. 
There can be little doubt that our indecisions in religion and 
in life generally are even more destructive to our best interests 
than are our wrong decisions. We get success by design but 
failure usually comes by default. 

Someone once asked Billy Sunday what a person needed 
to do to go to hell. Mr. Sunday replied, "Not a thing/' Most 
people go to hell only because they have never definitely 
decided to go some other place. Ignorance, indifference, sin, 
lethargy, discouragement, despair and failure are almost al- 
ways mixed up with a good measure of indecision. We 
procrastinate, equivocate, rationalize and temporize but 
frequently we never quite get around to getting things settled 
on a definite, permanent basis. 

I know of one man who almost wears himself out every 
morning trying to figure out whether or not he is going to 
shave. He feels his whiskers and thinks about where he is 
going, then he makes up a mental balance sheet of pros and 
cons and argues the point back and forth trying to get a 
reluctant mind to come to a conclusion. By hesitation and 
vacillation we sometimes so mistrain our faculties that getting 
a decision either for or against becomes an extremely difficult 

The story is told of a man badly in need of employ- 
ment who finally got a job sorting potatoes. He was in- 


structed to put the big potatoes in one pile, the little potatoes 
in another pile, and the spoiled potatoes in a third pile. He 
was very grateful for the job but he soon gave it up with the 
explanation that he couldn't stand the constant strain of 
making so many decisions. 

Sometimes our thinking patterns resemble those of the 
mental patient to whom the psychiatrist said, "Do you have 
trouble making up your mind?" The patient answered, "Well, 
yes and no." 

As a contrast to indecision, Winston Churchill was once 
accused of being partial. He admitted the charge and said 
he must not be otherwise. He said he hoped the time would 
never come when he was impartial as between the fire bri- 
gade and the fire. But so many of us are impartial between 
success and failure, right and wrong, good and evil. 

Because of this natural weakness in human beings, Billy 
Graham goes about the world asking people to "make deci- 
sions for Christ/' In his large public meetings he asks people 
to leave their seats and come and stand before the pulpit 
and make a public religious commitment. He thinks that 
regardless of one's religious affiliations everyone should make 
some decisions and then make a public statement as to where 
they stand personally. When some of the children of Israel 
relapsed into their idol worship and made the golden calf, 
Moses said to them "Who is on the Lord's side?" (Exodus 
32:26) In a similar spirit we sing a song, which says, 

Who's on the Lord's side, who? 
Now is the time to show, 
We ask it fearlessly, 
Who's on the Lord's side, who? 

There are a great many people who have sung this song 
on numerous occasions without ever a thought of answering 
the question for themselves. Isn't it interesting that so many 
people still maintain an attitude toward the important issues 


of life very similar to the sports fan who continues to go to 
the baseball games and then cheers for both sides? This 
detached feeling of impartiality has a destructive influence 
both on our religion and on our general success in life. 

Recently a university graduate student made the boast 
that in writing his master's thesis he had not made a single 
positive assertion. And there are a great many people who 
practice their religion largely on that basis. Their religious 
convictions have been neutralized. They tell themselves that 
all roads lead to the same place, that they are not person- 
ally responsible for what they do, and so they develop this 
philosophy of impartiality as between right and wrong. They 
frequently look on good and evil with equal favor as they 
cheer heartily for both sides at the same time. 

It was once reported that while Pat was lying on his 
deathbed an advocate of deathbed repentance asked him if 
he had prepared himself to die by renouncing the devil. Pat 
replied that he thought he was in no position to start making 
enemies at this time of his life. Pat was cheering for both 
sides. But frequently we do about the same thing, and we 
develop that damaging kind of permanent neutrality that 
caused the Lord to so severely rebuke the members of the 
church at Laodicea. He said to them, **I know thy works, 
that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold 
or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither 
cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou 
sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need 
of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and 
miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked/' (Rev. 3:15-17) 

Apparently the Lord was trying to get these poor folks 
to make up their minds as to whose team they were going 
to play on. 

In reading some of the dialogues of Socrates I was im- 
pressed that Socrates may not have considered himself a 
great teacher as such. His main effort was not to get people 


to learn anything new as much as it was to get them to put 
into practice some of those things they were absolutely cer- 
tain about. Twenty-five hundred years ago as now, the 
problem was to get people to take a firm stand on the issues 
that they believed in. 

A few years ago Charles E. Wilson was Secretary of 
Defense; he once told some of his friends that he had a 
good job opening in the Pentagon that could be filled only 
by a one-handed man. When questioned a little the Secretary 
said that he had many people in the Defense Department 
who are always saying, "On the one hand this, and on the 
other hand that/' with the result that their neutralized atti- 
tudes made them practically useless. Mr. Wilson thought 
that a man with only one hand might not have had that kind 
of difficulty. 

He might have found an interesting alternative in the 
suggestion of Jesus when he said, "If thine hand offend thee, 
cut it off and cast it from thee: For it is better for thee to 
enter into life maimed rather than having two hands be 
cast into everlasting fire." 

Just suppose, therefore, that we analyze our own lives 
and see how many important issues there are that we have 
personally left undecided and unsettled. For example, have 
we fully coordinated our deeds with our creed? If we really 
believe what we say we believe, then why do we do what 
we do? Or, how many of us have made up our minds firmly 
enough about honesty that we never allow an exception? 
Have we sufficiently made up our minds about the Ten 
Commandments that we are actually putting them in force? 
Judging from what we see on Sunday, how many have made 
up their minds about keeping the Sabbath Day holy? How 
many firm decisions have we made about self-improvement, 
reading the scriptures and living by what we learn? 

How many of us go along year after year gathering facts 
and getting ideas, and then insist on maintaining the kind 


of neutrality enabling us to cheer with equal vigor for both 
sides? Many of us go to church, say our prayers and memor- 
ize the great Christian doctrines; at the same time we are 
reading low-grade literature, using profane language, attend- 
ing immoral movies and cheering loudly for both sides. When 
we live the destructive philosophy of impartiality between 
good and evil, then the wheat and the tares are allowed to 
grow harmoniously together in our lives until one cannot 
be pulled up without dislodging the other. More than per- 
haps anything else, we need to make up our minds. 

A famous Canadian athletic coach once said that most 
people in and out of athletics were hold-outs. What he 
meant was that we have too many reservations about things. 
We go into life with our fingers crossed so to speak. And 
when we hold out on life, life holds out on us. The Laodiceans 
were holding out on God. Undoubtedly many of them were 
fine folks. But they had too many reservations, and a substan- 
tial mental reservation makes any accomplishment impossible. 
A good decision with a 51% reservation is actually a negative 
decision. A 51% reservation means that the prize goes to the 
adversary by default. A decision with a 50% reservation 
is still no decision at all. 

Mr. Aesop tells of a donkey starving to death between 
two piles of hay. The mule got into trouble only because 
his mind was equally attracted. Even a decision with a 
25% reservation is at best very weak and is easily nullified 
by a little influence from the other side. 

Mohandas K. Gandhi once said, "I hate mental reserva- 
tions/' So does God. The scripture says, "See that ye serve 
hfm with all your heart, mind, might and strength, that ye 
may stand blameless before God at the last day/* There are 
no signs of any reservations here. We should give our minds 
the power of an overwhelming majority. Then we may be 
able to get the same dominion over our lives that we have 
over the members of our body. If the mind tells the fingers to 


bend, they bend. However, the mind usually doesn't de- 
velop that kind of control over the emotions and the prob- 
lems involved in our day-to-day living. We could get 
absolute authority over our temperament and personalities 
if we could just learn to get our minds thoroughly made 
up and all on one side; for no one is ever defeated in the 
battle of life until he allows his mind to be taken captive. 
That fiery old Prophet Elijah in his contest with the wicked 
King Ahab said to the wavering people, "How long halt ye 
between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but 
if Baal, then follow him." (I Kings 18:21) But the people 
then had the same trouble that we have now. They just 
couldn't decide between Ahab and Elijah, or between God 
and Baal, and so the record says, "And the people answered 
him not a word." Like some of the neutral nations of our 
day who are looking for handouts, the people of Elijah's 
time wanted to be on both sides of the fence at the same time. 

Sometimes we hear an immoral person described as a 
"loose" person. Psychologically, spiritually and socially that 
is an accurate description. Such a person is not properly 
integrated or sufficiently tightened up within himself. He 
is not fused together into one piece. He is a "yes an< i no " 
kind of person. 

Abraham Lincoln once pointed out that no nation could 
survive while half-slave and half-free. No real success can 
survive while we are half "for" and half "against" God 
provides no place for compromises with evil. There is no 
half-way point between church and the movies on Sunday 
evening. Satan gets easy control over the lives of people whose 
neutralized minds have convictions going in both directions. 
He has a fertile field among those who have made no com- 
mitments to righteousness, Billy Graham would say that 
the ones who fall before the onslaughts of Satan are the ones 
who have made no decision for Christ. Satan is desperately 
trying to destroy success and righteousness and freedom and 


truth and godliness. He is anxious that everyone should be 
miserable like unto himself. Satan would like to destroy 
America and freedom and the Church, and he knows that 
the easiest way to gain his purpose is to first neutralize the 
minds of people so that they are neither one thing nor the 
other. When Satan can get people cheering for both sides, 
then evil will have an easy win by default. 

Probably the most important single influence in any- 
one's life is this ability to make firm decisions based on right- 
eousness. And that includes little decisions as well as big 
decisions. The Reverend Mr. Graham says, "How would 
you like to change your life? How would you like to be 
forgiven of all of your sins? How would you like to be 
transformed into a wonderful new person?" All we need 
to do in bringing about any desired change in our circum- 
stances is to firmly make up our minds to that end. The 
hour of decision is now. We should turn from our evil, 
accept the message of him who died for our sins and then be 
faithful doers of the word throughout our lives. 

The Lord has said, "No man can be saved in ignorance/* 
But it is also true that no man can be saved in indecision. Our 
eternal destiny depends upon our ability to throw off our 
vacillation, discontinue our procrastination and make strong, 
firm, righteous decisions about important things. Then our 
wills will not be demoralized because we are trying to hang 
on to righteousness and success with one hand while clinging 
to evil and failure with the other. 

If You'll Follow the River 

is A wise old Gaelic philoso- 
1 phy that says, "If you'll follow 

the river, you'll get to the sea." This is one of those inter- 
esting metaphors drawn from the experience of travelers 
and explorers to point out some of life's important relation- 
ships. To follow the rivers has always been one of the first 
rules of exploration. It has saved the lives of many travelers 
and guided them safely to where they wanted to go. 

It would be difficult to find an illustration furnishing 
a closer parallel to our success. The most important journey 
that anyone ever undertakes is the journey of his own life. 
And if we are to be successful in reaching the highest objec- 
tives, there are certain basic fundamental rules that must be 

For one who has no tested program to guide him, life 
becomes very difficult and hazardous. We should keep in 
mind that not all lives have a happy ending either here or 
hereafter. This fact is impressed upon us by the realism that 
caused Shakespeare to make more than half of his plays into 
tragedies. Shakespeare's plays were intended to portray our 
lives in miniature. He said his purpose was "to hold the 
mirror up to life," to show us possible goals as well as the 
hazards that might challenge our success. By this process 
of comparison we can also see the river highways of life in 
clearer perspective. 

One of the things that makes life's journey difficult and 
its destination uncertain is the fact tibat in our daily program 
as well as in our religious affairs, too many of us subscribe to 
that old sectarian doctrine that all roads lead to the same 
place, and that no matter what we do or which way we go, 


everything will come out right in the end. Nothing could 
be further from the truth or more destructive to our success. 
Everything depends on which road we take and what we do 
along the way. If we go in the wrong direction we are bound 
to end up in the wrong place. 

This is particularly true in the journey of life. Inasmuch 
as everyone is covering new ground, we need some depend- 
able rivers to follow. We are all making our way through 
a region where we have never been before, yet we are per- 
mitted only one try. Because we only make this important 
journey of life once we must be right the first time. 

Recently a 64-year-old man came in to talk about his 
troubles. He said, "If forty years ago I had thought as I 
think today, I would have done differently." Then he said, 
"I wish I could live my life over again." But that is ridiculous. 
There are no rehearsals in life. We can't rehearse birth, or 
life or success or death. We have only one opportunity to 
live. If we go in circles, lose our way, mire in the quicksands, 
or have to backtrack, valuable time is lost which must be 
deducted from our total allotment This may mean that we 
will not get to our destination on time. 

The early explorers, confronted with similar problems, 
used the rivers as their highways. They knew where each 
river would take them. That is a pretty good idea for us, 
as life also has its rivers and they are headed for different 
destinations. If we follow the river of industry, we will arrive 
at the sea of accomplishment. If we follow tie river of idle- 
ness, we will corne to the sea of failure. There are rivers of 
knowledge and right action that will lead us to the seas of 
wisdom and happiness. If we seek the seas of wealth, useful- 
ness, prestige or love, we need to follow the rivers^ that will 
take us there. We should never say that it doesn't matter. 

There are some rivers that lead to the exact places that 
we don't want to go. If one does not want to find himself 
in die sea of drunkenness, he should not follow the river of 


intemperance. If lie does not want to end up in the sea of 
immorality, he should avoid the river of wrong thinking. It 
is very easy to set treacherous undercurrents in motion in 
our lives that will make us miss our goal. Life has its little 
streams, its larger creeks and its still greater rivers, and 
they are all headed for a particular destination. We can 
depend upon it that impure thoughts will awaken 
impure feelings. Impure feelings will arouse impure desires. 
Impure desires beget impure actions. Impure actions crys- 
talize into impure habits. And impure habits make an im- 
pure life. If we follow the streamlet we will become a part 
of the creek and soon emerge with the river. The river of 
impure thoughts becomes a part of the sea of impurity, which 
is one of those unpleasant places that we had hoped to avoid. 
We have heard the interesting phrase about some people 
being "sold down the river." We start selling ourselves down 
the river the moment we begin following the wrong creek. 

Recently I talked with a young man who had become 
involved in a great many difficulties. I asked him why he 
had done these things. He said that he had merely been 
taking a fling at life. I asked him if he didn't realize where 
these activities were taking him. That he was actually headed 
for a pkce that he didn't want to go had never occurred to 
him. He was not aware that he was moving down a forbidden 
river. He had not really tried even to see where he was 
going. He was only concerned with the immediate sensations 
and circumstances involved in his fling at life. I tried to point 
out to hfm that actually he was not taking a fling at life at all, 
he was taking a fling at death. He was headed down that 
broad way that leads to destruction. 

Because this young man had been following the wrong 
course, he had already traveled far enough to separate himself 
from his former companions and the spirit of the life that he 
really desired. His fling into the field of dishonorable activi- 
ties had made him an unacceptable companion to those who 


had previously been his friends. This had caused him to 
become discouraged. He now thinks that life is picking on 
him, and he tells himself that it is too late to change his ways. 
He has never learned to swim upstream, and so he drifts 
further and further in the direction that he does not want 
to go, propelled by those dominating appetites which he him- 
self has set in motion to dominate his life. Although he is 
unhappy with his lot, he still does not look ahead or make 
any effort to visualize his final destination. He clings blind- 
ly to his unsupported hope that all roads lead to the 
same place, and that some miracle will give his life a happy 
ending, even though he follows the wrong course. He will 
not permit himself to realize that the river of immorality 
and dishonesty does not lead to the sea of honor and happi- 
ness, or that the river of irresponsibility does not lead to die 
sea of self-respect and prestige among his fellows. It seems 
impossible for him to understand that the river of idleness 
does not lead to the sea of power. He hasn't yet discovered 
that one cannot spend his energy flinging at death and still 
arrive at the sea of life. 

Recently I talked with a young man who had just been 
released from serving a term in the penitentiary. He had 
made several inquiries about getting a job and he was very 
upset that his prospective employers did not always accept 
him with open arms. He talked a great deal about the 
hypocrisy and lack of charity to those who were unwilling 
to trust his promise to change his ways. He wasn't willing 
to take his medicine and by following a different course in 
life prove to everyone that he had learned his lesson. It didn't 
seem to occur to him even now, that he was the one who 
had brought his situation about. One of our most depend- 
able ways of judging a man's future is by his past. After we 
follow die wrong rivers long enough, they begin to seem 
right to us. Then it is pretty difficult to get new attitudes 
and head for new objectives. Employers have been fooled 
many times by those who do not have an honorable record 


to back up their professions. Most people will have confi- 
dence in us if we always follow those rivers that lead to 

The Prophet Joseph Smith was once asked to give the 
reason for his great success in the leadership of a large 
heterogenous group of people, gathered from all races, creeds 
and occupations. The Prophet said, "I teach them correct 
principles and they govern themselves/' That is the key to 
every success. We need to learn to master and to follow 
the basic fundamental principles of righteousness and success 
and then every accomplishment is easy. 

One of the most important of these principles is to have 
the right objectives and the determination to follow them. 
The journey of life can end in disaster when we allow too 
many exceptions to success or permit too many deviations 
from right. One prisoner at the State Penitentiary has been 
released and returned to prison five different times. Each 
time he was released he promised faithfully that his evil 
would never again be permitted. But he always seems to 
find some reason to make an exception. And when too many 
exceptions are made, the will is weakened and the trust of 
others is destroyed. Too many exceptions to honesty not 
only means that one is dishonest, it also means that he is 
a fool deceiving himself. Too many dishonorable deeds 
make an honorable destiny unattainable. As little streams 
become big streams so little sins become big sins. Appetites 
grow by what they feed upon just as rivers do. Little evils 
by themselves are important, but they are even more im- 
portant for where they are leading us. 

Isn't it interesting that without exception, every one 
of us wants good things. We want financial security, a good 
home, a faithful family, unquestioned honor, and a Godly 
spirituality. And yet how frequently we fail to follow the 
course that leads us in that direction. It is so easy to center 
our minds on good and then allow so many exceptions that 


we are actually going in the opposite direction without know- 
ing it. The continual conflict that we permit between creed 
and deed causes confusion, frustration and discouragement 
in us. It gives us a split personality and makes our planned 
destiny unattainable. One evil soon begets another. One 
sin makes another necessary to cover it up. One bad habit 
leads on to the next. And thus we go further and further 
down the river of guilt until we arrive at a place which at 
the commencement of our career we would have died rather 
than to have attained. 

There is a sea of eternal death, and there are many 
rivers that lead to it. But no one ever arrives at this unpleas- 
ant place suddenly. He merely gets started on the wrong 
course and before he is aware, he cannot tell evil from good. 
It seems to the ex-convict that it is the other people who are 
causing his trouble. 

E. H. Chapin says that the most fearful characteristic 
of vice is its irresistible fascination. We are all aware of 
the ease with which our cherished sins can sweep away our 
resolution and cause us to forget our goals. Righteousness 
can be robbed so easily while in the embrace of indulgence. 
Someone has said, "Let no man trust the first false step for it 
hangs on a precipice, the bottom of which is lost from view, 
but the one who falls over it ends in perdition." 

Saul of Tarsus was a man of great education and attain- 
ment. He was a member of the Sanhedrin, doing what he 
believed was right. But actually he was following the river 
running in opposition to truth. One day on his way to Da- 
mascus he was stricken down, and under the pressure of 
blindness he was persuaded to change his course. Then 
setting his sails in another direction he followed the river 
of righteousness and devotion. He finally arrived at the sea 
of peace and contentment. At the end of the journey he said, 
"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have 
kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown 


of righteousness which the righteous judge shall give me at 
that day," When Paul changed his course he also changed 
his destination. Then for our benefit he gave that great line 
saying, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever 
a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to 
his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, but he that soweth 
to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." (Gal. 
6:7-8) In other words, Paid said, "If you'll follow the river 
youTl get to the sea." 

Most of us may not have Paul's good fortune to be 
stricken down by some super-mortal means to warn us that 
we are off the course. We may have to make our navigational 
changes on our own power. But we do not need to make a 
mistake about our destiny or the means of getting there. The 
broad, basic principles of success and Godliness are clearly 
written out for our benefit in the Holy Scriptures and we 
may take a fling at eternal life by merely following the rivers 
that lead there. Occasionally we should check up on our- 
selves to make sure that we are headed in the right direction. 

For at the end of the right river we will always find the 
appropriate sea. Judas Iseariot followed a different river 
than did Simon Peter and they arrived at different places, 
Benedict Arnold followed a different course in life than did 
George Washington. And whether we take a fling at life 
or a fling at death, it is the fundamental basic law that if 
we follow the river well get to the sea. This old Gaelic 
philosophy has a tremendous importance in our lives. May 
God grant us a vision of that sea of eternal glory and a de- 
termination to follow the river that will lead us there. 

Jack the Giant Killer 

COME time ago I reread that very interesting 
^ old English folk tale entitled, "Jack the 
Giant Killer." It recounts how ? in the days of King Arthur, 
a giant by the name of Cormoran lived on Cornwall Island, 
a short distance beyond Land's End, Cormoran frequently 
indulged in a very bad habit of wading across the interven- 
ing bit of sea, frightening the people out of their villages, 
and then loading himself up with their cattle and sheep to 
carry back to his island. 

Living in the village was a young fanner boy whose name 
was Jack. Jack was a very resourceful, thoughtful young 
man, and one day he asked his father why something wasn't 
done about Cormoran. Jack's father explained that Cormoran 
was a giant and even King Arthur's knights sought no fights 
with giants. 

But Jack told his father that his teacher from Salsburg 
had explained to him that there was a solution to every 
problem and Jack said that he believed there was a solution 
to the problem of Cormoran and he intended to find it. 

A few nights later Jack put an ax, a pick and a shovel 
into his boat and rowed out to the island where the giant 
lived. While Cormoran was asleep Jack dug a deep pit in 
front of the cave where Cormoran slept. Then just before 
dawn Jack sent a loud blast from his horn through the cave. 
The giant was very angry, and roaring with rage, and uttering 
threats of vengeance, he stumbled out through the darkness 
and fell into the hole. Jack was on hand with his ax and 
gave the giant a good sound thump on the head that was 
hard enough to solve forever the problem of Cormoran. 


When the people living in the next county heard that 
Jack had killed the giant, they immediately ivited him to 
come and perform a like service for the giant that was trou- 
bling them. But when Jack got there he found that their 
giant had two heads, and this required a little different han- 
dling. But Jack knew that there was a solution to every 
problem; and all he needed to do was to find the right an- 

Jack's success at solving giant problems was soon noised 
around, and other requests began coming in, but every giant 
problem required a different answer. Some of these giants 
had eyes in the backs of their heads. One had a magic coat 
that made him invisible. One had a magic cap which en- 
abled him to learn things no one else knew. One had 
a magic sword that could cut through the strongest iron. 
One had a pair of magic shoes that gave him extraordinary 
swiftness. But Jack knew that there was a solution to every 
problem, and when the right solution was supported with 
sufficient skill, courage and industry, every problem could be 
solved. Finally he was given the highly complimentary title 
of "Jack the Giant Killer." 

This is far more than just a very interesting story. It 
is also a most worth-while philosophy of life. Our worst dif- 
ficulties arise because of our inability to solve our problems 
properly. As one example, we see the giant nations roaring 
and snarling at each other and threatening to destroy the 
world and everyone in it because they can't solve a problem. 
Think what a wonderful world we could have if all of the 
great nations would stop creating problems and develop a 
little greater ability as problem-solvers. That might also 
serve as one of the primary objectives for our own individual 
accomplishment. We should, of course, keep in mind that 
not all of our problems come from giants. The most tiny 
problems are often too much for some of us to solve. We 
frequently fail because we spend so much time, worrying 


about the problem, that we have no time left to work out good 

We might get some helpful ideas from a famous problem- 
solver of the Old Testament by the name of David. David 
could not go into the army as his brothers did because he was 
too young, and so he stayed at home and looked after the 
family sheep. But one day Father Jesse sent David to King 
Saul's camp to take his brothers some food. When he arrived 
the camp was a scene of great confusion. A giant from Gath 
by the name of Goliath was challenging Saul's soldiers to 
choose a champion from among them to fight Goliath and 
decide the war by a single combat. Everyone in Saul's camp 
was desperately scared. In their fear no one was thinking 
about solutions, and it looked as though they would all soon 
be slaves to the Philistines. 

But David had had some experience as a problem-solver. 
When a lion and a bear had come among his sheep, he didn't 
run and hide, but solved the problem by killing the lion 
and the bear. Seeing the confusion and the helplessness 
of the Israelites, David set out to help them witih. their prob- 

He went to King Saul and said, "Let no man's heart fail 
because of Goliath, for I will go and fight with this Philistine." 
Saul pointed out the danger and called attention to the fact 
that David was a very young man, whereas Goliath was not 
only a giant, he was also the champion warrior among all of 
the Philistines. Goliath was clad in a coat of mail and 
carried a spear like a weaver's beam. But David did not 
abandon himself to fear as the others had done. He said 
to Saul, "This uncircumcised Philistine shall be to me as 
the lion and the bear, seeing he hath defiled the armies of 
the living God/' 

Saul tried to put his armor upon David, but David said, 
"I cannot go with these, for I have not proved them/' Then 


David picked up five stones out of the brook, and armed 
with his slingshot he went out to meet the giant. 

Goliath was a little surprised that his challenge had 
been accepted by one so young, and he began to threaten 
and abuse the shepherd boy. But David said to the Philis- 
tine, "Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, 
and with a shield; but I come to thee in the name of the . . . 
God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This 
day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand." I suppose 
that that is what you could call the faith that moves moun- 
tains or at least the faith that kills giants. But David also 
had a practical program. He put a rock in his slingshot, 
and as he whirled it to get up momentum, he ran to meet 
the Philistine. And just at the right time and in the right 
way, he let the rock go; and it buried itself in the forehead 
of Goliath. The giant fell forward on his face, and David 
finished the job by cutting off his head with his own sword. 
And the record says, "And when the Philistines saw their 
champion was dead, they fled/' (I Sam. 17th chapter) 

The problem had been solved and so David delivered 
his brothers* lunch and went back to the sheep. In passing 
it is interesting to remember that David had used his sling- 
shot before. Unlike Saul's armor, the sling had been proven 
and David knew how to put enough steam behind a rock 
that the problem of Goliath would stay solved for a long time. 

One of the great lessons of the Bible is found in this 
story of David, the giant killer, and this is one of those 
lessons that we most need to learn. In our day we are not 
botitered with many physical giants who steal our cattle, or 
threaten us with a sword like a weaver s beam; but just the 
same there are a lot of giants that need to be slain. Like 
Saul's soldiers, we have a choice between being giant killers 
or being their slaves, and we are also placed in servitude to 
every problem that we do not overcome. 


Therefore., suppose that we think of ourselves as "prob- 
em-solvers" and work out some solutions to the giant fears 
:hat are giving us so much trouble and are robbing us of 
;o much of our success and happiness. There are also some 
^iant discouragements that are annihilating our industry and 
self-confidence. There are some giant doubts that are de- 
stroying our faith in God. Some of our bad habits have 
attained giant status and are threatening us with a life of 
serving evil. What we need more than perhaps any other 
thing is the courage and skill to be a giant killer. Too many 
3ormorans that should have been gotten rid of long ago are 
still getting fat at our expense. 

An interesting thing about this situation is that every- 
one must loll his own giants. And certainly one of the most 
profitable of all undertakings is to develop our skill as prob- 
lem-solvers, for we know that when we overcome the giant 
)f discouragement, our own strength is immediately in- 
creased. But if by faith and study we destroy our doubts 
md settle our confusions then our strength is multiplied. 

One of the best ways to improve our ability as problem- 
5olvers is to think more about the solution, and spend less 
;ime wallowing around in the problem. A fine, middle-aged 
couple recently came to see me about a marital problem. 
To begin with they had selected each other from among all 
>f the people in the world, and yet they couldn't get along 
:ogether. They both maintained that they wanted to save 
heir marriage. They had no other heart interests, but they 
;eemed to dearly love to point out the problems of each 
>ther, but neither seemed to do very much about them. 
Dne of the husband's complaints was that his wife had 
nvited her mother to live with them. He said he didn't 
hink that was fair. I asked him how long his mother-in-law 
lad been in their home. His wife spoke up and said that 
;he had died more than eight years previously. I was im- 
pressed that almost anyone could figure out a solution to 


their problem, but that no matter how good the solution was, 
they would not be able to follow it because they were more 
interested in fixing the blame and having a fight than in 
making each other happy. They insisted on wading around 
in the mud puddle of their problem rather than in cleaning 
themselves up with an answer. They had created their own 
giant Cormoran who was robbing them of love, happiness 
and success. 

I gave them each a couple of sheets of paper and asked 
them to do some homework, by writing out a clear-cut state- 
ment of their problem, and then putting down on paper as 
many solutions as they could think of ? and bring their papers 
back to me in a week. It is an interesting fact that there are 
always several solutions to every problem. There may not 
be several successful solutions, but it develops one's problem- 
solving ability to make one's canvas of the alternatives as 
complete as possible, and then be able expertly and objec- 
tively to evaluate and weigh the advantages and disadvan- 
tages of each. 

The trouble with Saul's soldiers was that they could only 
think of one way to loll a giant; and that was the impossible 
way of running a sword through his heavy armor. David 
found a spot that had no armor at all, and he also thought 
of a better way to do the job. David had already developed 
the skill with a slingshot that would enable him to put his 
plan into successful operation. 

Many people live lives of desperation and confusion 
because they devote themselves to the problems instead of 
the answers. Because of this defect in procedure some people 
can't solve even the most tiny problems. For example, some 
intelligent people spend a lot of time worrying about occu- 
pational success, who can't get the beds off their backs in 
the morning. They can't loll inertia, sloth, lethargy, or indif- 
ference even in themselves. Isn't it interesting that some 
people spend their entire lives and never learn how to get up 


on time in the morning? Try as they may they can't get rid 
of the bad habits of caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, or overweight. 
We consent to be the slaves of negative thinking, evil speak- 
ing, profanity and disbelief rather than develop a plan for 
digging a trap in front of their caves to enable us to solve the 

We read in the Bible about people who were possessed 
of devils. But how much better off is one who puts himself 
in the clutches of an unsolved problem, and permits himself 
to be the slave of evil, being forever tormented by some 
demon that he himself has created? 

For many years Peter Marshall was a chaplain in the 
United States Senate. He prayed "Lord, help us to be a 
part of the answer, not a part of the problem." Sometimes 
we make a quicksand quagmire out of a problem, and then 
the more we struggle and accuse and fight, the deeper we 
sink into the difficulty. 

One of the worst enemies of solutions is postponement. 
In the confessions of St. Augustine he pictures himself as 
a flagrantly, worldly and licentious young man. He con- 
fessed that the prayer of his wild, youthful days was, "Oh 
God, give me chastity and self-control, but not just yet." 

Referring to the Indians, Brigham Young once said, "It 
is better to feed them than to fight them/ 9 That logic may 
be all right for Indians, but it is no good for killing giants. 
Little problems can become giants with very few feedings, 
and we must either get rid of our Goliaths, or they will get 
rid of us. 

Keeping Up with the Joneses 

AXING BACK to a time before anyone 
can remember, a land of con- 
spiracy has gone on against a particular group of people 
called "the Joneses." This in spite of the fact that they 
have probably done more good in the world than perhaps 
any other group that ever lived in it. Being one of the 
largest families, the Joneses are mixed in among us so that 
no one lives very far beyond their influence. Our problem 
arises from the fact that they sometimes upset our composure 
when their accomplishments challenge us to adopt a more 
progressive program for ourselves. 

But in spite of all of our moanings and groanings about 
keeping up with the Joneses, yet it is still true that a good 
example from others is one of our most powerful success fac- 
tors. The Joneses stimulate our imagination by showing us 
that worth-while things can be done though they may at first 
seem impossible to us. The pressure of a good example keeps 
us on our toes, for which we owe the Joneses a debt of the 
greatest magnitude. 

A recent magazine article tells the story of a sleepy little 
village called Brownsville. The homes had a run-down look 
The fences were falling apart and the yards were filled with 
unsightly weeds. But one day the Joneses moved into 
Brownsville. They bought, remodeled and painted one of 
the run-down houses. They cleared out the weeds and built 
an attractive, nicely painted, white picket fence around the 
yard. Then they covered the fence with red rambler roses. 
This greatly upset the status quo that had so long prevailed 
in Brownsville. It caused a wave of troubled consciences 
and inferiority complexes to sweep over this easy-going com- 
munity and made most of the people feel very uncomfortable. 


But important consequences soon followed. A good 
example frequently sets in motion a mysterious force that will 
not let people rest until the newly discovered virtues are 
luxuriously growing in their own lives. It was not very 
long before this uplifting force was transferred to other 
members of this community. A kind of self-improvement 
fever started to break out as people began to take a little 
more pride in their surroundings. 

Some of the symptoms of what was taking place was 
the rash of white picket fences covered with red rambler 
roses that began brightening the face of Brownsville. Some 
neatly painted houses began to appear, and flower gardens 
greatly increased in popularity. Some of the people even 
began paying a little more attention to their personal situ- 
ation and began to clean some of the weeds out of their own 
attitudes and personalities. 

It was not long before the townsfolk got together, and 
with considerable community pride and pleasure changed the 
name of their village from Brownsville to Rosedale. 

It has frequently been pointed out that "One man can, 
if he will, change the morale of a whole community." Thomas 
Carlyle reminds us that "we reform others when we walk 
uprightly/' It was one of the important teachings of Jesus 
that "man does not live by bread alone." Everyone needs 
a touch of beauty in his life and an occasional dose of in- 
spiration helps one to brighten up his outlook and make life 
more worth while. James T. White gave voice to an important 
part of this philosophy of success when he said: 

If thou of fortune art bereft 

And if thou liast but two loaves left to thee 

Sell one and with the dole 

Buy hyacinths to feed the soul. 

Thomas Carlyle, Jesus and James White gave this phi- 
losophy its form, but it was left to the Joneses to put it in 


force in the lives of others. Getting ideas into actual oper- 
ation by example goes far beyond planting flower gardens. 
It also reaches into the fields of developing good attitudes, 
a firm faith and a determined ambition which will build 
spiritual, social and financial success. 

The story is told of a one-time complacent gentleman 
who owned a small-town grocery store. Its chief character- 
istics were the cracker barrel and the loitering place where 
certain idle townspeople could sit while they whittled, phi- 
losophized and chewed tobacco. But as the community grew 
some Joneses moved into town. They bought the property 
across the street, and built the most up-to-date building in 
town. When it opened for business the community discov- 
ered that it had a small-scale supermarket with the most 
modern equipment, the finest stock and the most effective 
marketing methods. The cracker barrel grocery man stood 
in his doorway and watched his former customers come out 
of the new store with smiles on their faces and their baskets 
filled with groceries. According to his own story, he was 
the maddest man who had ever lived. He thought that the 
Joneses were robbers who had invaded his territory to steal 
his business. He felt that they were purposely humiliating 
Tiim in his own community as well as taking away his cus- 
tomers and friends. 

After a few months he discovered that getting mad wasn't 
bringing his customers back, nor was it helping him with his 
personal problems. It wasn't legal to try to run his competitor 
out of town or blow up the supermarket. He didn't particu- 
larly relish the idea of starving his family or losing his busi- 
ness. Finally by a process of elimination he decided that 
the best thing to do was to imitate the vision and industry 
of his competitor. For the first time he realized that he did 
not live on the flat stationary earth that people once believed 
in. It seemed quite unlikely that civilization would soon slow 
down its pace merely to accommodate his unprogressiveness. 


The stimulation he received from these new ideas caused 
him to take a little more honest look at himself. Then he 
began taking a new look at the grocery business and at life 
generally. He gradually became aware that the horse and 
buggy and the cracker barrel had gone out of style without 
him realizing it. He finally came to the conclusion that keep- 
ing up with the Joneses had some advantages. 

His problem had been so acute and his awakening so 
real that the pendulum of his ambition began swinging to- 
wards the other extreme. In fact, he soon got something 
resembling an overdose of the spirit of progress and in the 
following few years he not only caught up to the Joneses, 
but he actually passed them. He was recently cited as the 
"Grocery Man of the Year" in his community. But what 
was even more important, he also became an industrious, 
successful and happy man in the process. 

The power of a good example is one of the most worth- 
while forces in the world. And more than most other things 
we need someone to actually show us the way. We need 
more and better real live working models of success and 
righteousness. It is easy to become great in the company of 
great men. It is easy to become good in the company of 
good men. It is easy to become successful when we come 
face to face with the principles of success in actual operation. 
In more ways than one, competition is the spice of life. It 
spurs our wills and challenges our ambitions. There are far 
too many people who practice the deadly philosophy of 
defeatism. We are frequently victimized by that terrible 
disease that sometimes makes failure seem more desirable 
than success. We need the Joneses to help us clear the cob- 
webs out of our brains and stir up our spirits. There is far 
more happiness in victory and success than in defeat and 
failure. And so frequently it is all in our own minds. We thiiik, 
"It can't be done" until we see someone doing it. But even 
defeatists can't argue with actual accomplishment. Then it 


becomes a logical step to think that if other people can do 
great things, why can't we? 

Without the influence of the Joneses we are sometimes 
left sitting around the cracker barrels of life with no one to 
show us more worth-while objectives or better methods of 
doing things. An example can sharpen our abilities and 
stimulate our desire to succeed. A little leaven can some- 
times make the whole lump worth while if we can just get it 
started to work. 

At first everything seems impossible. At one time no 
one could swim the English Channel. Then Captain Webb 
did it, then Gertrude Ederle did it, and since then dozens of 
others have done it. Until May 6, 1954 no one could run a 
four-minute mile. But after Roger Bannister had done it, 
it soon become more or less commonplace. 

This great law of success applies in every field. When 
one studies the life of Abraham Lincoln it often starts a 
whole new train of the most worth-while thoughts in the 
mind of the student. 

I once knew a young man whom I believed to be the 
homeliest person I had ever seen. But he had a great teacher 
who served him as an ideal. The fact that he wanted to be 
like his teacher had helped him to set his heart on getting 
a good education for himself. At great sacrifice he worked 
his way through college and then went East for further 
training. For a few years I lost track of him and when I 
saw hiTYi again I would not have believed that he was the 
same person. There was an interesting radiance shining in 
his face and there was a calm confidence in his manner. 
Success was manifesting itself in every part of his personality. 
He was no longer homely but exactly the opposite. 

I thought about Socrates, who was also noted for his 
lack of physical beauty. But Socrates prayed, "Make me 
beautiful widrin," and then he proceeded to answer his own 


prayer. Socrates planted a flower garden of ideas and ideals 
in his mind and tie became the first one to whom the term 
"philosopher" was applied. Philosopher means a lover of 
wisdom. Wisdom and beauty of spirit soon manifest them- 
selves in the personality. The right kinds of thoughts can 
make the plainest body beautiful. We have all seen plain 
people transformed by holding beautifying thoughts in their 
minds and hearts. The working of a radiant personality and 
a Godly spirit transforms our bodies into their likeness. 

The scripture tells us that even in the resurrection the 
degree of glory acquired by our bodies will be determined 
by the quality of our spirits. Only a celestial spirit will be 
able to resurrect a celestial body. Those who have lived 
well will come forth in "the resurrection of life/* and those 
who have lived unsuccessfully will come forth in "the resur- 
rection of damnation." It is also in the realm of the spirit 
where we are best served by keeping up with the Joneses, 
as we adopt ideals and develop virtues most readily when we 
see them in operation in the lives of those we love. This 
indicates the area of our greatest opportunity, as poverty and 
riches alike are largely of the spirit. The shiny new automo- 
bile in our neighbor's driveway does not stimulate our in- 
stincts to acquire, nearly as intensely as does the godliness 
that shines from the face and personality of an ideal. And 
after all, most of our worth-while abilities and virtues were 
transferred to us from someone else. 

Jesus spoke of the power of a great example as a light 
upon a hill. He instructed his disciples that their lives 
should be such that men would see their good works and 
glorify their Father in heaven. This is a clear-cut case of 
keeping up with the Joneses. In fact, one of the primary 
functions of the life of Jesus was to serve as our example. 
When he said "Come follow me," he was challenging us 
to discard our sins and imitate his excellence. And just 
think of the effect that his life has had upon those who have 


followed him. A group of ordinary unlearned men were 
transformed by his example into something far greater than 
themselves. And their wisdom and philosophy is still being 
quoted after the passage of twenty centuries. The chief 
priests explained this transformation in the lives of Peter and 
John by saying, "They had been with Jesus/' As they had 
tried to keep up with his example of faith and devotion they 
were lifted toward their own eternal exaltation. 

The real worship of God is the greatest of all of our op- 
portunities. As we keep the first and great commandment we 
bind ourselves to God. As we intensify our worship we imme- 
diately elevate the quality of our own lives. It's a matter of 
following the philosophy that says, "Hitch your wagon to a 
star, keep your seat and there you are." What wonderful 
people we could become if we would always keep our wagon 
hitched to the star of him who said, "I am the way, walk 
ye in it." 

A recent newspaper article told of a group of astronomers 
who claimed that their life expectancy had been increased 
20% because of their intense interest in such an exalted study 
as astronomy. But a study of God the Creator is far more 
important than a study of any of his creations. And by put- 
ting our lives in contact with him and properly living the 
gospel that he has designed for our good, we will not only 
increase the length of our lives but their breadth and depth 
as well. The greatest of all objectives is eternal life, and 
to help us attain it the greatest intelligence of heaven next to 
the Father himself was sent into the world as the standard of 
perfection to show us the way and light our path to eternal 
glory. May we devote ourselves wholeheartedly to living 
up to this exalted standard. 

The Kingdom of Cod Is Within You 

N ONE occasion Jesus said to some 
Pharisees, "The kingdom of God 
is within you." A note in the King James' version indicates 
that he meant, "The kingdom of God is among you." And 
that is probably what he did mean. The term "Kingdom 
of God" is generally used in the scripture to indicate the 
church that God has established upon the earth. But in 
another sense we might also think of the kingdom of God 
as a condition, a condition embodying in us those attitudes, 
virtues, talents and determinations necessary to qualify us 
for real church membership. I suppose that even the Lord's 
organization upon the earth will not help us much unless 
we prepare ourselves to make our membership therein worth 
while. That is, even if we were baptized every fifteen 
minutes it would not solve our problems unless we made 
our lives acceptable to God. Many great benefits accrue 
to us when we get into the church., but the most important 
benefits come when the church gets into us. 

I like to think that when Jesus said, "The kingdom of 
God is within you," that there may have been a second mean- 
ing reminding us that God our Father has already laid up 
within our souls all of those qualities necessary to bring about 
our own eternal success and happiness. Actually every man 
carries within himself the very things that he seeks. Not 
only did God create man in his own image but he also en- 
dowed him with a set of his attributes, the development of 
which is one of our greatest responsibilities. If we seek faith, 
we need only look within ourselves, for God has already 
implanted in our own hearts the seeds of faith, waiting only 
for us to make them grow. If we need courage, it can be 
found within ourselves, waiting our command. 


God has stored up in the earth everything necessary 
for our material success and happiness. The scientists have 
discovered 102 different elements in nature. There are car- 
bon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, iron, etc. These are nature's 
building blocks. Out of these elements in the right combina- 
tions and proportions nature fashions all of the material 
things of the world. Water, sugar, steel, glass or rubber 
can all be represented by a chemical formula. 

But God reserved the best of the elements and stored 
them up in his own children. The earth is God's handiwork 
but man is his son, and he has endowed his children with 
all of the elements necessary that the offspring may become 
like the parent. Some of these elements are kindness, honor, 
integrity, courage, industry, ambition, diligence and faith. 
God has placed within us the causes of whatever happens 
to us. Brigham Young once said, "I do not feel disposed to 
ask God to do for me something that I can do for myself." 
For example, there is no need to ask God to forgive our ene- 
mies, as we can do that ourselves. Why should we ask God 
to make us holy, obedient, faithful and deserving? That is 
why he has given us the powers of reason, resolution, organi- 
zation and industry. All we need to do is to learn to use 
more effectively these great powers that God has hidden 
within us for that purpose. 

Then when we put these personal elements together in 
the right combinations and proportions, we have what some- 
one has called "a magnificent human being/' The greatest 
wonder of creation is a child of God at his best. The Lord 
said, "The kingdom of God is within you." (John 17:21) 
That is where we find the source of all action. Brigham 
Young said, "Anyone can preach, but it takes a good man 
to practice/* It takes a good man to actually put the 
commandments of God in force in his own life. But we 
may reach any goal, either spiritual or material, by effec- 


tively using the great gifts with which we have already been 

Jesus said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his 
righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you/' 
(Matt. 6:33) That is, we must develop the "talents 5 ' first 
and the "things" will follow. "Things" always follow "tal- 
ents/' "His righteousness" is what we get into us and then 
"his kingdom/' "his power," "his glory," "his success," comes 
as a natural consequence. Both the talents and the things 
are all ready, awaiting appropriate action on our part. 

The first atomic bomb was exploded in 1945, yet all of 
the necessary elements had been lying under our feet since 
the morning of creation. During the Dark Ages we had just 
as many potential wonders available to us as we have now. 
We had just never learned to utilize the elements of power 
that God had laid up in the earth for our benefit. We have 
recently made great progress in utilizing the potentialities 
of uranium. But we have not made much progress in har- 
nessing the powers of faith or repentance, or the powers of 
our own wills! One of our most serious sins is that we make 
such an insignificant attempt to realize our God-given possi- 
bilities. Rather at the end of our days we send back to God 
a life with most of its potentialities undiscovered and unex- 

The Lord expects our lives to be productive. Paul said 
to Timothy, "Stir up the gift of God, which is within thee." 
(II Tim. 1:6) He said, "For God hath not given us the 
spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound 
mind." (II Tim. 1:7)1 wonder what would happen if any one 
of us ever fully developed these wonderful gifts of power. 

Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes once said that a doctor who 
can smile, makes $5,000 per year more than the one who can- 
not smile. The ability to obey God, the power to love our 
fellow men, and the magic to exercise our own industry are 


also worth a great deal, though they often lie as much unused 
as did the uranium under the feet of our forefathers. 

Paul mentioned that God had endowed us with the 
power of a "sound mind." But frequently that is also allowed 
to remain as unproductive as the fig tree that produced no 
fruit mentioned by Jesus. Woodrow Wilson once said, "The 
greatest ability of the American people is their ability to 
resist instruction." This would certainly apply to us par- 
ticularly in the way we usually seek God's "righteousness." 
Our forefathers killed the prophets. But we may accomplish 
about the same general end by ignoring them. The world 
would not listen to the Son of God when he came to the 
earth in person, but how much better are some of us doing? 
We just don't seem to be able to learn the great lessons of 
life. We want the "things" but we are not interested in de- 
veloping the talents. In general we make about the same 
mistake that Pilate did when he said to Jesus, "What is truth?" 
and then, apparently without waiting for an answer, he 
turned and walked out of the room. 

Mr. Khrushchev, Mr. Mao and Mr. Castro are also very 
concerned with getting "things" even if they have to take 
them by force or blow up the world in the process. If Jesus 
had a "condition" in mind when he said "The kingdom of God 
is within you," we might also remember that that is also the 
place where the kingdom of hell is. 

When we develop "his righteousness" in the right com- 
binations in our lives, the greatest power in the world is born. 
Then we "stir up" this power within us, which like a slumber- 
ing giant awaits only to be aroused. God has planted the 
potentiality for godhood within us. All we need to do is to 
learn to command the shaft by which we draw out the gold. 

Claude Bristol says, "The minds of most of us are allowed 
to become like junk-strewn attics with obsolete attitudes, 
rusty ideas, broken-down beliefs about ourselves and the 


world we live in. These self-imposed handicaps prevent our 
accomplishment." It is so easy to become slaves to confusion 
and frustration, to burden our minds with a lot of mental 
rubbish. We fall easy victims to fears, worries, tensions, 
nerves, timidities and other ills that keep us chained to medi- 
ocrity. We need to houseclean our minds and emotions, and 
remove every barrier that blocks off our goals. The great 
truths of life become known only to those who are prepared 
to accept them. 

God does not want us to be dull, negative, unattractive 
or unlearned. He has said, "No man can be saved in igno- 
rance." Ignorance is probably the most potent factor by 
which we set up our own limitations. God is not pleased 
when we live little, dwarfed and stunted lives. Jesus wants 
us to produce. He said, "Give, and it shall be given unto 
you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and 
running over. . . . For with the same measure that ye mete 
withal it shall be measured to you again." (Luke 6:38) Cer- 
tainly there are no limitations on our possibilities mentioned 

Everything that has ever been accomplished has had its 
origin in the mind. Every building, every statue, every paint- 
ing, all wealth, both spiritual and material, began with some- 
one as a thought. Talents attract success. Every thought 
that we think has a literal value. The mind has a great 
power upon the body. For example, when someone brings 
you some sudden bad news you may go pale or tremble, you 
may even fall in a faint. Bad news can be severe enough 
to kill. We sometimes see one who is feeble-minded dragging 
his feet, stumbling over the slightest obstructions that may 
lie in his path. That is the natural consequence of a weak 
mind. A falling state of mind is always productive of a fall- 
ing state of the body because every thought tends to repro- 
duce itself in an act. Thoughts of sin, sensuality and vice 
reproduce themselves in acts and even change the physical 


appearance of the body. On the other hand, a great faith, 
a great courage or a great industry in us, reproduce them- 
selves in our circumstances as well as in our faces. Benjamin 
Franklin said, "Keep up your spirits and they will keep up 
your body/' One man said to his son, "I know that you have 
it in you/' We can actually see success in some people. God 
knows that there is something important in us because he put 
it there. Therefore we should not pass too lightly over this 
second meaning of the saying, "The kingdom of God is within 
you." For that is where all worth-while things are. 

You may travel the world over to find wealth, success or 
peace, but unless you find that which God has hidden within 
yourself, nothing else will amount to very much, whereas if 
we make full use of what we already have nothing will be 
withheld from us. Jesus said, "According to your faith be 
it unto you." He said, "All things are possible to them that 
believe/* That is, he says to us, "You have it in you/' The 
fears and the forebodings that have dominated us in the 
past must be cleared away to make room for those wonderful 
transforming powers of faith and works. For the moment 
that one really understands the fact that he can rise, then 
he will rise. As someone has said, "Whether we think failure 
or success we will be right." 

Recently in the process of a stake reorganization it was 
my privilege to sit in on personal interviews with 59 men, 
none of whom I had ever seen before. There did not seem 
to be much difference between them physically, but looking 
into their faces and listening to their speech, and feeling of 
their spirit, it was very easy to realize what a great difference 
there was between them on the inside. I thought of Peter 
at the trial of Jesus when in the palace of Caiaphas, even 
the servant girl knew him for what he was. She said, "Thy 
speech betrayeth thee," and so it is. 

We all develop identifying personality marks as char- 
acteristic as our fingerprints. And the great difference be- 


tween men is the extent to which we have developed the 
powers that God has already implanted in our souls. They 
become our most important possessions. 

The kingdom of God is within you. The secret of suc- 
cess is within you. The power of great faith is within you. 
The ability for great leadership is within you. The key of 
great beauty is within you. These divine gifts light up and 
adorn the personality and make it magnetic. Whatever you 
become on the inside gets in your speech, takes possession 
of your handshake, lights up your eyes, and shines in your 
face in letters of light that everyone may read. It is an index 
to your character and a price tag indicating your value in this 
world and in the next. Someone has said, "You can't take it 
with you." But that is ridiculous. Everything of real value 
you can take with you. Our purpose on earth is to lay up 
treasures in heaven. We sow in this world, we reap in the 
next, whereas those who accumulate things outside of them- 
selves lose it all at death, as there is no real wealth outside 
of people. "The kingdom of God is within you," and may 
you make the most of it. 

The Lamplighter 

""THE tremendous book called the Holy 
' Bible begins its history of the world 
in the following words, "In the beginning God created the 
heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, 
and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. 
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 
And God said. Let there be light: and there was light. And 
God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the 
light from the darkness. And God called the light Day 
and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and 
morning were the first day." (Genesis 1:1-5) 

It is an interesting speculation as to what it must have 
been like before that first morning of creation. Suppose we 
had been present to feel the brooding, unbroken darkness 
that covered creation, and then imagine our feelings when 
in the march of progress God first said, "Let there be light." 

What an exciting experience it can be just to watch the 
sun rise! We glory in the daily repetition of this miracle of 
creation as darkness is again pushed back by the rays of God's 
great sun, sending its beams of light across the earth. Each 
twenty-four hours we experience the alternating periods of 
light and darkness, and sense therein the eternal conflict rag- 
ing between the two. The mysterious blackness of physical 
night periodically shuts us up within ourselves and in some 
degree blots out the beauty and wonder of the universe. 

But darkness manifests itself among us in more than just 
its physical form. There is also a mental and a spiritual dark- 
ness. There is the mental darkness that we call ignorance, 
and the moral blackness that we call sin. Paul refers to the 
wicked people of his day as the "children of darkness/' To 


be enveloped by a brooding, oppressive physical night is one 
thing, but our most vexing problems arise when darkness gets 
into our minds or lays its withering hands upon our souls. 

Isaiah foresaw the approach of the apostasy from God 
that brought the Dark Ages upon the world, and he said, 
"Darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peo- 
ple/' (Isaiah 60:2) Hopelessness and despair always pos- 
sess us when this sinister condition separates us from God. 
All kinds of evil flourish most in the dark. When the physical 
light fades from the world, the dens of evil open their doors 
a little wider. This is only one of the reasons that from the 
very beginning of time people have been afraid of the dark. 
Darkness in one form or another is always present when 
degradation and unhappiness takes hold of people's lives. 
It seems unfortunately appropriate therefore that the final 
place of punishment should be characterized by a black- 
ness, gloom and despair to match those lives that suffer there. 
The scripture speaks of "everlasting punishment" and de- 
scribes die place where it is suffered as "outer darkness." 
The scriptures also tell of "weeping, wailing and gnashing 
of teeth/' (Matt. 8:12; 22:13) 

In all of its aspects the word "darkness" literally means 
the absence of light. (Matt. 27:45) God himself uses this 
term as the symbol of sin denoting the lack of righteousness. 
This word has also been used to stand for that dreadful con- 
dition called the second death, when the powers of evil will 
gain complete control of some lives so that in them only sin 
will flourish and decency and godliness shall die. From 
this final judgment there shall be no remedy, but then as 
the prophet says, "he that is filthy shall be filthy still." 

From any possible point of view, one of the most im- 
portant parts of creation took place when God said, "Let there 
be light," and our greatest responsibility is to more firmly 
establish it in our own lives in all of its forms. As the death 
of William Sidney Porter (O. Henry) approached he said to 


those surrounding his deathbed, "Lift up the shades, I don't 
want to go home in the dark." It is tragic for anyone to go 
home in the dark, and it is tragic for anyone to live in the dark. 
Only in the presence of light can we fill the purposes of our 
lives and find real satisfaction and happiness. For just as 
physical life cannot long flourish in the absence of sunshine, 
so our eternal life and happiness cannot live very long in 
spiritual, mental and moral darkness. Progress is brought 
about when we use the sunlight of truth to roll back the 
boundaries of ignorance, kill the germs of evil, and light the 
lamps of intelligence, righteousness, and happiness. Great 
ideas and ambitions catch fire in the presence of God's light, 
they light up other minds and become purifying torches to 
bring about eternal glory for man. 

The Apostle John speaks of this greater spiritual light 
in about the same terms used in Genesis to describe that first 
morning of creation. He says, "In the beginning was the 
Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 
The same was in the beginning with God. All things were 
made by him; and without him was not anything made that 
was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men." 
The record says, There was a man sent from God, whose 
name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness 
of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was 
not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 
That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that com- 
eth into the world. . . . But as many as received him, to them 
gave he power to become the sons of God." (John 1:1-12) 

Jesus made announcement of his own mission by saying, 
"I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not 
walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life/* (John 8:12) 
Then he gave us another important reason for being afraid of 
the dark when he said, "If thine eye be evil, thy whole body 
shall be filled with darkness. If therefore the light that is in 
thee be darkness, how great is that darkness/' 


God himself lives in light and that is where every one of 
us should live also. The light of God can quickly kill the 
germs of sin, and for this reason God has appointed light- 
bearers to assist in pushing back the darkness and bring hap- 
piness into the lives of his children. With this in mind the 
writer of Proverbs has given us a helpful figure of speech, 
saying, "The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord." (Prov. 
20:27) And Jesus used this same idea when in instructing 
his disciples he said, "Ye are the light of the world. A city 
that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a 
candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and 
it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light 
so shine before men, that they may see your good works, 
and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matt. 6:14-16) 

The primary function of every child of God is to become 
an effective candle of the Lord, and assist in spreading the 
light of intelligence, righteousness, and understanding. Then 
just as the sun's rays reach out across the world, the light of 
Christ can banish darkness and destroy evil from among men. 

Jesus is the light of the world, ordained to provide the 
source from which our candles may be lighted. It can help 
us to be more effective when we live the philosophy of the 
song that says: 

The Lord is my light; then why should I fear? 
By day and by night his presence is near. 
He is my salvation from sorrow and sin; 
This blessed assurance the spirit doth bring. 

The Lord is my light, though clouds may arise, 
Faith, stronger than sight, looks up through the skies 
Where Jesus forever in glory doth reign. 
Then how can I ever in darkness remain? 

The Lord is my light, the Lord is my strength. 
I know in his might 111 conquer at length. 
My weakness in mercy he covers with power, 
And, walking by faith, I am blest every hour 


The Lord is my light my all and in all. 
There is in his sight no darkness at all. 
He is my Redeemer, my Savior, and king. 
With Saints and with angels his praises I'll sing. 

Where could we ever find a more constructive employ- 
ment than to function effectively as candles of the Lord? 

Sir Harry Lauder used to love to tell the story of the 
old lamplighter in the small community where he lived as 
a boy. Each evening as dusk came on, the old man would 
make his rounds with his ladder and his light. He would 
put the ladder up against the light post, climb up and light 
the lamp, step back down, pick up the ladder and proceed 
on to the next lamp. "After a while," said Sir Harry, "the 
lamplighter would be out of sight down the street. But I 
could always tell which way he had gone because of the 
lamps he had lighted." 

But in one way or another, lighting lamps has been the 
chief employment of all great men. Louis Pasteur was a 
lamplighter. He helped to dispel the clouds of ignorance 
and superstition in the field of medicine. He devoted his 
life to killing disease and giving people a longer life lighted 
with greater health and happiness. 

George Washington was a lamplighter. He pushed back 
the darkness of political bondage and lighted our entire land 
with liberty and independence. 

Abraham Lincoln was a lamplighter. In his heart he also 
heard the divine command saying, "Let there be light," and 
he devoted his life to that end. Under his stimulating en- 
deavor, human slavery was abolished in our country, and he 
opened the way for equality, opportunity and human dignity 
among men. The light that he lighted still shines forth in 
a free America. Lincoln adopted the philosophy of the 
psalmist saying, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a 
light unto my path." (Psalms 119:105) 


One of the greatest of the lamplighters was a contem- 
porary of Lincoln. He was an American Prophet by the 
name of Joseph Smith, who was the instrument through 
which the Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth 
in this dispensation. Jesus said, "Behold, I sent you out to 
testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man 
who hath been warned to warn his neighbor/' (D&C 88:81) 
That makes us all lamplighters. If we are to adequately 
prepare the way before the glorious second coming of Christ 
the lamps of intelligence, righteousness, and universal under- 
standing must be lighted for all men. The place of God's 
presence is a city of light, there is no darkness, sin, ignorance 
or misunderstanding in his presence. What a thrilling op- 
portunity to light our individual candles at this great source 
of supply, and then carry it to every corner of the land to 
help prepare the children of God to live in the "city of light/' 

An idea came out of India many years ago that around 
every individual there is an aura or a kind of spiritual atmos- 
phere formed by his individual thoughts, attitudes, ambitions 
and personality traits. Our greatest opportunity is to light our 
lives at the eternal source of light, and then use this influence 
or radioactivity in us to light the lives of others. 

Dr. Edward Rosenow, formerly of the Mayo clinic in 
Rochester, Minnesota, once told of the experience that caused 
him to choose the field of medicine as his life's work. When 
Edward was a small boy living in Minnesota, his brother 
became acutely ill. The family suffered severe distress until 
the doctor arrived. As the physician worked over his sick 
brother, Edward stood behind the doctor with his eyes 
riveted on the anxious and anguished faces of his parents. 
Finally the doctor turned to the parents with a smile and 
said, "You can stop worrying now, for your boy is going to 
be all right/' Young Edward was profoundly impressed with 
the change that the announcement made in the faces of his 
parents. In relating the incident years later he said, "I re- 


solved right then and there that I was going to be a doctor 
so that I could also go around putting light in people's faces." 
As a physician Dr. Edward Rosenow became a lamplighter. 

One of the reasons that Jesus was called the great phy- 
sician was because he was able to put the light of eternal 
life into the faces of people. And by following him we may 
also banish darkness and sin from the lives of others and 
make celestial glory shine in their faces. 

What a thrilling opportunity that in our basic assignment 
as candles of the Lord we may re-enact the glory of creation 
as with our lives we say, "Let there be light." We may 
thereby fulfill the words of the prophetic hymn saying, 

The morning breaks, the shadows flee; 
Lo, Zion's standard is unfurled! 
The dawning of a brighter day, 
Majestic rises on the world. 

Life's Arithmetic 

E STORY is told of a little boy who 
went to church with his grand- 
mother on Easter Sunday. Up behind the pulpit, a large 
cross had been erected for the occasion. The little boy 
was very interested in the things around him, and with 
some of his recent arithmetic experience fresh in his mind, 
he said to his grandmother, "Why do they have the big plus 
sign up in the front of the church?" 

And that is a pretty good church question. It is a 
pretty good business question. It also has some important 
applications for life itself. The little boy had been impressed 
with what a great difference a plus sign could make in his 
arithmetic answers. It could make two fours into an eight, 
whereas a minus sign made the same two fours into a zero. 
But as this little boy learns the important lessons of success, 
he will discover that other plus and minus signs will make 
as much difference in life's answers as they do in the problems 
of his arithmetic class. If he uses enough pluses in life he 
will discover that doing right is a far more thrilling experience 
than doing wrong. Positive thinking and living are much 
more rewarding than their negative counterparts. What a 
great difference in the result when we put some plus signs 
by honesty, courage, faith, industry and spirituality! 

Jesus put the plus sign on good works as he kept calling 
for doers of the word rather than hearers only. Emerson said, 
"The world belongs to the energetic." That means a plus 
sign. A well-developed energy quickens every faculty in 

There is far too much talk among us about the danger 
of wearing ourselves out by work. Dr. H. O. Thompson 


says that too many people are being counseled to take life 
easier when they should be counseled to take their respon- 
sibilities more seriously and discharge them with an increased 
vigor. The best way to get rested, is to speed up. For when 
we get ahead of our work we love it and it is easy. When it 
gets ahead of us we hate it and it becomes difficult. Some- 
one has said that the tired businessman is the one whose 
business is not successful. We might make a similar appli- 
cation to our efforts in that great enterprise that Jesus char- 
acterized as "my Father's business/' In either undertaking 
no one gets tired while he is ahead. Whether our work is 
physical, mental, social or spiritual, it is still true that "the 
pace that kills is the crawl." 

It is one of the interesting truisms of life that the Lord 
fits the back to the burden. That calls for a plus sign. We 
can get a stronger back by undertaking a heavier load. We 
can develop greater energy and more ability by increasing 
our effort. Dr. Thompson believes that most people who 
suffer from spasms or fatigue are not really tired at all. They 
are merely bored or discouraged or lack of an absorbing pur- 
pose in life. These traits all carry minus signs. More rest 
and inactivity usually increases the problem rather than pro- 
ducing an answer. Good, hard, meaningful work is one of 
the best all-purpose medicines ever discovered. 

Abraham Lincoln was once told that his eyes looked 
tired and that he should rest. The President replied that it 
was his heart that was tired, and in order to rest his heart 
he must go on. That is still the best procedure. Not many 
people ever get sick because of worth-while work. We can 
live long, interesting, useful lives if we have erected enough 
plus signs, whereas the minus signs signify evil and evil 
shortens our lives. 

A heavy user of alcoholic beverages recently said that 
he did not like the taste of liquor. He said he drank it be- 
cause he liked the effect it produced. When this man's affairs 


don't go well, or when life gets him into a corner, he just 
takes off and gets drunk. This banishes the feeling of reality 
and he loses that disturbing sense of responsibility. When 
liquor takes him over he acquires a feeling of importance 
and worthwhileness that he doesn't have when his sober 
intelligence is in command. But intoxication always hoists 
the minus sign and then we start losing things. Liquor doesn't 
really solve anything, but it subtracts from our dependability, 
impairs our health and reduces our bank balances. It destroys 
family happiness and the confidence and trust of friends. 

This reminds us of the occasion when the old legend 
says that some of Satan's imps got into the display window 
of life's department store and mixed up the labels. They 
put cheap price tags on expensive articles, and expensive 
price tags on things of little value. They thought it great 
sport to see people paying the highest prices for worthless 
things. These Satanic imps have also been at work in the 
arithmetic book of life and have mixed up the pluses and 

Recently a man in a state of some confusion was trying 
to explain his many business failures. He said, "I guess I 
am fust too honest to be successful." Satan's imps had 
gotten into this man's mind and hung a minus sign on that 
priceless gem called honesty. And my friend had accepted 
the devil's evaluation at its face value. When our minuses 
and pluses get mixed up, then we sometimes believe that 
it is smart to cheat and clever to deceive, and popular to be 
immoral. It makes us feel important to be drunk. 

Looking down to our own day Jesus said that even some 
of the very elect would be deceived by this confusion. (Matt. 
24:24) We ourselves see this prophecy's fulfillment. Satan's 
imps, with a little assistance from us, have mixed up the 
labels, some of which say that religion is only for weaklings, 
that to believe in God is a sign of ignorance, and that any- 
one is a sissy who follows righteous principles. Actually the 


most courageous thing in the world is honor and honesty. 
The most manly of activities is unwavering obedience to 
God. And the most profitable business procedure is to live 
the gospel. 

We need to unmix the labels and see that the right price 
tags are on the right articles. We need to go through life's 
arithmetic book and make sure that we understand which 
activities carry pluses and which carry minuses. 

Irreligion carries one of life's most severe minus signs. 
Negative thinking has a minus sign. Profanity has a minus 
sign. Disobedience to God has a minus sign. All minus 
signs indicate that a process of subtraction is going on within 
us. That is how we lose our desire for good and our deter- 
mination to succeed. The minus sign robs us of our strength 
and leaves weakness, wickedness and failure in its place. 
Minus signs bring deficits and require the use of red ink in 
our life's accounting. Any variety of poor health is written 
with red ink. Sickness robs us of our time, courage, money 
and ability. So does sin. There is far too much red ink in 
the accounting procedures of our lives. There are too many 
misunderstandings and too many refusals to look the facts 
in the face. The minus signs start to appear when first the 
negative idea gets into our thoughts. 

The successful life is the one that turns the minus signs 
into pluses before too much red ink has been used. Good 
mental, spiritual and physical health places enormous plus 
signs up in the front of our lives. Good health is one of the 
most profitable and enjoyable of all of life's experiences and 
keeping mentally, spiritually and physically fit should never 
be allowed to become tedious. We should at least treat our 
bodies, our minds and our spirits with as much consideration 
as we would give to our automobiles or our animals. We 
should never contaminate our minds or our bodies with 
harmful things. 


One of the most sinister inventions of our time is the 
coffee break. This is a period when coffee addicts guzzle 
down barrels of a habit-forming liquid evil. Some people 
can almost live on caffeine. There are others who can't do 
without it. The beggar's plea, "Can you spare a dime for 
a cup of coffee?" indicates the pressure this minus sign can 
exert. There are many ways in which we could more profit- 
ably spend our lives than using them up in coffee breaks. We 
could stand a few more prayer breaks and some repentance 
breaks. We might profitably use a little of this time out to 
stimulate our ambitions and repair our mistrained appetites. 

I know a man who has been told by the doctor that he 
must give up smoking. He is very disturbed about it. He 
feels sorry for himself even at the thought of parting with his 
favorite bad habit. He is not at all disturbed that he never 
prays to God, and is ignorant of the thrilling literature of 
the world or the holy scriptures. He feels no regrets about 
violating the Sabbath Day. The principle part of his religion 
is to do limitlessly whatever his badly trained appetites urge 
him into. He has little thought for personal improvement 
or self-discipline. He has small concern for doing what is 
right. He says, "I hate the idea of standing over myself like 
a policeman, always telling myself I must do this or I must 
do that." He says, "How could it do me any good to quit 
smoking if I have to threaten myself with a club to get my- 
self to do it?" 

Isn't it strange that we sometimes have to stand over 
ourselves with a club even to get ourselves to save our own 
souls or bring about our own happiness? This strange attrac- 
tion for evil can become almost irresistible if early in our 
lives we erect too many minus signs in our spiritual mental 
and physical tastes. When our labels are pluses we learn 
to love the successful, the beautiful and the godly. It is a 
great compliment to one when goodness is pleasant and he 
doesn't have to stand over himself with a club to get each 


righteous act in force. When it becomes difficult for us to 
be decent, we had better find out what is wrong with our 

Try to imagine God on a coffee break or threatening 
himself with a club to keep away from a cigarette. It is 
impossible to think of God with a negative attitude or having 
a personality covered with minus signs. God loves every- 
thing that is right, and it is easy for him to be godly. On 
the other hand, who can imagine Satan receiving great pleas- 
ure and satisfaction in doing good and making others happy? 
Satan's main job is to mix up the labels, to subtract all of 
the possible good from our lives. What a dreadfully uncom- 
plimentary thing it would be to have it said of us as it was 
of Cain, that he loved Satan more than God. (Moses 5:18) 
When we begin feeling a natural affinity for evil and the 
necessity for clubbing ourselves into doing right, then is the 
time that we should be giving a little more thought to our 
plus signs. 

In St. Paul's cathedral there is a tablet erected to the 
memory of General Charles Gordon from which we read 
these stimulating words: 

At all times and in all places 

He gave His strength to the wealc 

His substance to the poor 

His sympathy to the suffering, and 

His heart to God. 

What wonderful sources of strength these plus signs 
can be. We were all created for pluses. It was intended 
that we should be honorable and grateful and faithful. Our 
most outstanding ability should be that of addition. The life 
of Jesus is best represented by a plus sign. In trying to 
stimulate our positive arithmetic he gave us the parable 
of the talents. Three servants were given resources accord- 
ing to their abilities. Two of the servants doubled their 


talents. But the other was an unprofitable servant. His life 
bore a minus sign. He sought to justify his failure by saying, 
*1 was afraid so I hid my talent in the ground." 

This kind of fear is a minus sign. As Shakespeare says, 
"It makes us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to 
attempt." The unprofitable servant hid his talent in the 
ground, then he had his only talent subtracted from him by 
his own minus sign. 

One of the thrilling parts of life's arithmetic is this 
wonder of addition. Our success in life will be determined 
by our ability to take down the minus signs of life and erect 
pluses in their places. Even if we don't like this program 
at first we will surely like the effect it produces. No limitation 
has been placed on the number or the quality of our pluses. 
A fervent belief in God is a plus. To love good is a plus. 
To effectively serve our fellow men is a plus. To understand 
the great doctrines of Christianity is a plus. The truths that 
these doctrines stand for are all pluses, like the great cross 
at the head of the church. The atonement is a plus. The 
literal resurrection of a celestial body is a plus. Eternal life 
is a plus. The development of our own God-given abilities 
is a plus. To live the gospel of Jesus Christ is a plus. 

The most effective expenditure of any life is realized in 
the saving of it, and we may help that process by under- 
standing and utilizing the significance of the Easter cross, 
as it symbolizes the thrilling pluses of our daily lives. 

The Lost Chord 

COMETTME ago a friend of mine was 
^ telling Ms banker about Ills large 

income. He was justifiably proud of the fact that the quality 
of his sendee had made him one of the highest paid mem- 
bers of his firm. The banker recognized the character, 
intelligence and industry, required to bring about this favor- 
able situation. However, he pointed out that it is not what 
one earns but what he saves that has the dominating influ- 
ence upon his financial standing. 

One of our biggest money problems comes from the fact 
that there are so many ways of losing it. Even good invest- 
ments sometimes turn sour. Errors in judgment frequently 
cause us serious losses. And our spending habits sometimes 
mean that even a large income doesn't always reach very far. 
This common financial experience supplies us with a very 
interesting analogy for some of the other departments of our 
lives. And one of the greatest of our tragedies in every 
field comes in our losses. If we are not careful we can lose 
our friends, our faith, our ideals, our ambitions and even 
our hard- won knowledge. Someone has pointed out that it's 
easy to become a captain, but it's hard to stay one. That 
applies in every field. There are many wonderful people 
who look like champions in their early years, but, their later 
life does not always fulfill the promises of their youth. 

For example, in his last sad hours on lonely St. Helena, 
Napoleon the Great said, "What a pitiful creature I have 

General Benedict Arnold and Apostle Judas Iscariot 
once basked in the promise of a wonderful future only to be 


victimized by a serious shortage in their own conduct. Along 
life's way they lost some of the traits and attitudes which if 
retained would have written success in big letters across 
their lives. 

Adelaide Proctor gives us an interesting illustration of 
this possibility of loss in her classical music entitled "The 
Lost Chord." Of this experience she says: 

Seated one day at the organ, 
I was weary and ill at ease, 
And my fingers wandered idly 
Over the noisy keys. 

Then by some inspiration the organist struck a beautiful, 
wonderful chord which Mrs. Proctor said: 

. . . Flooded the crimson twilight 
Like the close of an angel's psalm. 

Like this organist, we sometimes have the experience 
of doing some commendable, ennobling, inspiring thing. 
There are certain periods in our lives when we are at our 
best. Then it seems that we have clear sailing, with nothing 
to stop us. But our total success does not depend on mere 
flashes of excellence. In our personal and cultural lives as 
well as in our finances, total success depends upon our per- 
manent "accumulations." The big question is, how well can 
we hang on to what we acquire. 

Jesus gave this thought meaning when he said, "He 
that endureth unto the end shall be saved." Judas, Napoleon 
and Benedict Arnold got into their difficulty because their 
good qualities didn't stick it out to the end. If we can just 
hang on to our virtues, then we can reproduce excellence 
over and over again. The organist in Mrs. Proctor's verse 
lost the chord and the inspiring music forever vanished from 
her life. She says: 


I have sought, but I seek it vainly, 
That one lost chord divine, 
Which came from the soul of the organ 
And entered into mine. 

How frequently we have the frustrating and costly ex- 
perience of losing some wonderful idea, or some great en- 
thusiasm, or some soul-satisfying conviction. Then we are 
left cold and unresponsive where every effort at recovery 
or recall seems in vain and then the spirit of accomplishment 

What a tragedy is the loss of a great virtue! God can 
resurrect a dead body, but who can resurrect a dead faith, 
or a lost ambition, or a lifeless desire? Mrs. Proctor con- 
cludes her classic by saying: 

It may be that death's bright angel 
Will speak in that chord again, 
Yet it may be that only in heaven 
I shall hear that grand amen. 

It may be that even in heaven we will not be able to 
recover those priceless riches of mind and spirit that we lose 
here. Our lives must be made up as we go along, and when 
we slip back a step, that must be deducted from our gross 
gain. But, we can lift ourselves to any happiness or success 
if we acquire and retain the right kind of ideals and emo- 
tions. The reason that some lives never rise above medioc- 
rity is not because they have no impulse to rise, more often 
it is because there are too many leaks in their success. 

Some of us are always getting, but never growing; we 
are going forward, but we are also slipping backward. The 
investment department of our lives is very active, but it 
shows too many losses and bad investments. Inspiration, 
information, ideas, and attitudes never come as permanent 
gifts, and when, like the lost chord, they once get away 
from us, they are sometimes pretty difficult to recover. Shake- 
speare gives us an interesting line in which he says, "There 


is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at its flood leads 
on to fortune omitted all the voyages of their lives are bound 
in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now 
afloat, and we must take the current when it serves or lose 
our ventures." 

Every day our tide goes out often carrying these inspir- 
ing flashes of faith and ambition with it. This is sometimes 
because these elements were not harnessed and put to work 
soon enough. We always intend doing a lot of things later 
on, but neither ideas nor faith wait on the proscrastinator. 
As soon as faith is isolated from its appropriate task it dies. 
There can be no such thing as preserved faith. Ideas or 
ideals never live very long in a vacuum, neither does right- 
eousness grow strong by disuse. Many of us spend our 
lives in the shallows and the miseries because we let the tide 
slip out of our minds and take our ambition along. 

Then we lose contact with the emotions and ambitions 
which previously impelled us to the hilltop of accomplish- 
ment. This constant devasting loss that so many of us con- 
tinually suffer is further illustrated by a story in the life of 
Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He tells of an experience that 
happened in the summer of 1797. He had retired to a se- 
cluded cottage between Porlock and Linton in Devon, Eng- 
land, so that he could be undisturbed while doing some 
important writing and thinking. He had had some slight 
physical indisposition and had taken some medicine which 
had caused him to fall asleep in his chair while he was work- 
ing on his ideas. He continued in a profound sleep for about 
three hours, at least his external senses slept, but his subcon- 
scious mind was not asleep and during those three hours 
it effectively put the ideas together to fulfill the very pur- 
pose of his being there. 

On waking with these inspiring ideas clearly in his con- 
scious mind he took his pen in hand and feverishly began 
putting them down on paper, but just as he began to write 


he was called out of his room by a "visitor from Porlock," 
on urgent business. The visitor detained Mr. Coleridge for 
about an hour. When the visitor had gone and Mr. Cole- 
ridge had returned to his room, to his great dismay he found 
that some of these valuable ideas had completely passed 
out of his mind and the rest had become so blurred and in- 
distinct that they retained little meaning. They were now 
like images in a stream after a stone had been thrown in 
causing a ripple to blur the picture. Because of this inter- 
ruption the impression had gone from his mind and his 
enthusiasm had gone with them. 

This reminds us of King Nebuchadnezzar, who had a 
similar experience. The king dreamed a great dream but 
in the morning the vision had gone from him. He knew that 
he had received some great message, but he didn't know 
what it was or what it meant. The king was disturbed and 
offered great rewards if his astrologers and magicians would 
tell him what he had dreamed and what it meant 

Whether we have ever thought about it or not, this is 
also one of our biggest problems. All of us sometimes have 
great dreams and wonderful visions that we allow to get away 
from us, then, like Nebuchadnezzar, we don't remember the 
vision or why we had it. Nothing is more costly or dam- 
aging to our success. 

Mr. Coleridge had been well on his way toward accom- 
plishing something worth-while, but when he was interrupted, 
the spirit had been broken, the ideas had vanished, and the 
accomplishment was lost forever. Sometimes we allow our 
material interests or an indulgence in evil to serve as our 
visitor from Porlock to rob us of our greatest treasures of both 
mind and spirit What a tragedy when a lost idea or a lost 
ideal, or a lost ambition, or a lost art, or a lost spirituality, 
takes from us our greatest blessings, including even eternal 
life itself! This is especially unfortunate when the loss is 
brought about by a distraction that we ourselves cause. So 


frequently we permit some little thing to spoil the spirit of 
what we are doing and then the charm of our success is 
broken. These most precious of life's investments have values 
only when we keep them safe and in usable form. In this, 
as in everything else eternal vigilance is the price of safety. 

In our striving for success we often let our minds and 
hearts wander too far from the main business of life. Or 
we break the spell by entertaining too many conflicting in- 

Emerson once said that he always lost the spirit of writ- 
ing when he divided his attention. He said that it was diffi- 
cult to write with a pen in one hand and a peat knife in 
the other. The final difference between success and failure 
is often very small and even the greatest success sometimes 
hangs by a thread. If the thread is broken, the spirit is lost. 
When our pursuit of success is interrupted even for a short 
time, excellence often gets away from us, the scent is lost, 
the water is muddied, the tracks are obliterated, and further 
pursuit is made impossible. Success must be prepared for 
in advance. It is often born unexpectedly, and it usually 
comes with a sudden insistence that brooks no delay. While 
success is being born everything else should be put aside. 
Then a visitor from Porlock or a mind centered on the wrong 
things may cause a major disaster. A very large percentage 
of plans miscarry when some distraction breaks the cord 
of their lives. Then interruption or negligence may bring 
death to our most prized accomplishment. 

Like Nebuchadnezzar, we sometimes get a great vision, 
and inasmuch as we may not always be able to get hold of 
a Daniel to recall it for us, we had better learn to hang onto 
it while we have it. When we write it down, memorize it, 
and take immediate action, we increase the probability that 
it will remain with us. 

The most pathetic tragedy in our world is our losses. 
We lose our faith or allow our manhood to disintegrate. This 


is made more hazardous because the moment of forgetting, 
like the moment of death, is an unconscious moment. We 
merely say, "I am not the man I used to be." Such losses 
have little salvage value. And the greatest virtues can com- 
pletely disappear. Like the lost river, they just sink into 
the sand and we see them no more. The inspiration of the 
Lost Chord reminds us that we should keep the investment 
department of our lives operating effectively, and only those 
virtues that we keep in good condition can make our lives 
profitable and happy. 

The Love of Liberty 

THIS coming week we will 
commemorate the birthday of 
American independence. During this period of the year we 
re-live those thrilling days of 76, and we think about our 
freedom and what it means and what it has cost and what 
it would be like if it were lost. We should always remember 
that one of our most important responsibilities is to keep 
this God-given love of liberty always burning brightly in 
our hearts. We are aware of the fierce struggle that free 
men have always been willing to make against the most 
overwhelming odds in order to remain free. Sometimes we 
place the value of this tremendous gift even ahead of life 
itself. During our revolutionary period Patrick Henry said, 
"Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the 
price of chains or slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I 
know not what course others may take but as for me, give me 
liberty or give me death/* 

Freedom and free agency was the cause for which the 
war in heaven was fought, and in one way or another it 
has been the cause of all the wars since that time. God 
himself is committed to our freedom above almost every- 
thing else, yet some of the strongest forces in the world 
are set in opposition against it. Isn't it interesting that of 
the estimated forty billion people who have lived upon the 
earth in the last two thousand years, only one billion have 
been free. All the rest have lived in some kind of bondage. 

In our present celebrations of freedom we remember the 
plight of our unfortunate neighbors in Hungary, East Ger- 
many, Cuba and Poland. We sympathize with the vast 
hordes in China and Russia whose masters hold over them 


the tyrant's power of life and death. In many instances they 
are told where they can work, what they can believe and 
what they can do. The only possible employer is often the 
communist party. The people are forbidden to own property 
and in many cases they give up their children to the care of 
the state, and their own lives are placed in the hands of 
godless dictators. We often make comparisons between 
these two great ideologies. It seems to me that one of the 
most striking for this season of the year is between America 
where we have to make laws to keep foreigners from flocking 
here to over-run our country, and East Berlin where they 
make laws supplemented by Russian walls constantly pa- 
trolled by armed guards to keep people from getting away 
from communist rule. 

The powers of evil seem just as anxious for all men to 
be enslaved as God is for them to be free. But America's 
mission is not only to maintain her own liberty. America is 
the world citadel of freedom established by God himself with 
the divinely appointed mission to keep liberty alive for all 
of the people of the world. America has some 185 million 
people, all of whom are free politically, and yet even here 
we have a tendency to bind ourselves in some kind of per- 
sonal slavery. For example, five million of our people have 
become alcoholics. Others have bound themselves with the 
chains of immorality, lawlessness and every other kind of 
evil. And as Epictetus says "No man is free who is not 
master of himself/* 

Charles Kingsley has pointed out that, "There are two 
freedoms. The false where one is free to do what he likes, 
and the true where he is free to do what he ought." And 
Edmund Burke reminds us that, "There is no liberty in 
wrongdoing. It chains and fetters its victim as surely as 
any other effect follows its cause/' It has been pointed out 
that everyone is free even to go to hell and as Kingsley says, 
"The freedom of some is the freedom of the herd of swine 


that ran violently down the steep place into the sea and were 
drowned/* The real liberty that we seek is the liberty of 
order and virtue. It is the freedom that gives enlargement 
to our energies, intellects and virtues, and finally gives eternal 
life to our souls. 

One of the most important enterprises in the world is 
man's struggle to be free. When I was in the seventh grade 
I was greatly impressed by Elijah Kellogg's account of the 
inspiring speech about freedom made by Spartacus the old 
Grecian gladiator, which seems to have a message for our 
day, as it forms an interesting chapter in the history of man's 
struggle for liberty. In those days great training schools for 
gladiators were established in Rome, Capua, Ravenna, and 
other cities. These gladiators were mostly slaves, captured 
enemies or condemned criminals. They were forced to fight 
each other to the death in the arena in order to amuse the 
Roman populace so frenzied with the blood of their own 
conquests and civil strife. Spartacus, a Thracian by birth, 
was captured during the conquest of Northern Greece, sold 
as a slave, and sent to the training school at Capua. Here 
he was trained to be a skillful fighter, and for twelve years 
was hired out to fight at public and at private entertainments. 
Spartacus was an educated Greek with all the Greek love of 
liberty he naturally resented such cruel and bloody slavery, 
yet in every combat he fought as became a valiant soldier. 

After having proven his prowess and skill in many a 
combat, Spartacus incited the gladiatorial slaves at Capua 
to insurrection, and finally escaped with seventy comrades 
to the crater of Mt. Vesuvius. Here he issued a general 
emancipation proclamation to all the slaves of Italy. For 
three years he defied the Roman power. Four Roman armies 
met disaster at the hands of his freedom-loving band. With 
a large force, he marched past Rome, entered the Po Valley, 
and planned to cross the Alps, disband his army, and send 
his warriors as free men back to their homes. But his men 


refused to leave Italy, and demanded that they be led against 
the power of Rome itself. During the campaign against Rome, 
the slave army met many reverses, it was finally defeated, and 
Spartacus was slain. 

Mr. Kellogg gives a memorable account of this historic 
freedom attempt made by Spartacus after twelve years of 
bloody combat on the arena sands. Determined to be free 
he also stirred up his fellow captives in an inspiring though 
unsuccessful strike for liberty. Of this event Mr. Kellogg says, 

It had been a day of triumph at Capua. Lentulus, return- 
ing with his victorious eagles, had amused the populace 
with the sports of the amphitheatre to an extent hitherto 
unknown even in that luxurious city. The shouts of revelry 
had died away; the roar of the lion had ceased; the last 
loiterer had retired from the banquet; and the lights in the 
palace of the victor were extinguished. The moon, piercing 
die tissue of fleecy clouds, silvered the dewdrop on the cor- 
selet of the Roman sentinel, and tipped the dark waters of 
Volturnus with a wavy, tremulous light. It was a night of 
holy calm, when the zephyr sways the young spring leaves, 
and whispers among the hollow reeds its dreamy music. No 
sound was heard save the last sob of some retiring wave, 
telling its story to the smooth pebbles of the beach; and then 
all was silent as the breast when the spirit has departed. 

In the deep recesses of the amphitheatre, a band of 
gladiators were assembled, their muscles still knotted with 
the agony of conflict, the foam upon their lips, the scowl of 
battle yet lingering on their brows, when Spartacus, rising 
in the midst of that grim assemblage, thus addressed them: 

"Ye call me chief; and ye do well to call him chief who 
for twelve long years has met upon the arena every shape 
of man or beast that the broad Empire of Rome could fur- 
nish, and who never yet lowered his aim. If there be one 
among you who can say that ever, in public fight or private 
brawl, my actions did belie my tongue let him stand forth 


and say it. Or if there be three in all your company dare 
face me on the bloody sands, let them come on. And yet I 
was not always thus, a hired butcher, a savage chief of still 
more savage men! My ancestors came from old Sparta, and 
settled among the vine-clad rocks and citron groves of 
Syrasella. My early life ran as quiet as the brooks by which 
I sported; and when, at noon, I gathered the sheep beneath 
the shade, and played upon the shepherd's flute, there was 
a friend, the son of a neighbor, to join me in the pastime. 
We led our flocks to the same pasture, and partook our 
rustic meal together, One evening, after the sheep were 
folded, and we were all seated beneath the myrtle which 
shaded our cottage, my grandsire, an old man was telling of 
Marathon and Leuctra; and how, in ancient times, a little 
band of Spartans, in a defile of the mountains, had with- 
stood a whole army. I did not then know what war was; 
but my cheeks burned, I knew not why, and I clasped the 
knees of that venerable man, until my mother, parting the 
hair from off my forehead, kissed my throbbing temples, and 
bade me go to rest, and think no more of those old tales and 
savage wars. That very night, the Romans landed on our 
coast. I saw the breast that had nourished me trampled by 
the hoof of the warhorse; the bleeding body of my father 
flung amidst the blazing rafters of our dwelling! 

"Today I killed a man in the arena; and when I broke 
his helmet-clasps behold! he was my friend. He knew me, 
smiled faintly, gasped and died; the same sweet smile upon 
his lips that I had marked in adventurous boyhood when 
we scaled the lofty cliffs to pluck the first ripe grapes, and 
bear them home in childish triumph! I told the praetor 
that the dead man was my friend, generous and brave; and 
I begged that I might bear away the body, burn it on a 
funeral pile and mourn over its ashes. Ay! upon my knees., 
amid the dust and blood of the arena, I begged that poor 
boon, while the assembled maids and matrons, and the holy 
virgins they call Vestals, and the rabble, shouted in derision, 


deeming it rare sport, forsooth, to see Rome's fiercest gladia- 
tor turn pale and tremble at the sight of that piece of bleed- 
ing clay! The praetor drew back as if I were pollution, and 
sternly said, 'Let the carrion rot; there are no noble men 
but Romans!' And so, fellow gladiators, must you, and so 
must I, die like dogs. O Rome, Rome! thou hast been a 
tender nurse to me. Thou hast given to that poor, gentle, 
timid shepherd lad, who never knew a harsher tone than a 
flute-note, muscles of iron and a heart of flint; taught him 
to drive the sword through plaited mail and links of rugged 
brass, and warm it in the marrow of his foe; to gaze into the 
glaring eyeballs of the fierce Numidian lion even as a boy 
upon a laughing girl! And he shall pay thee back, until the 
yellow Tiber is red as flowing wine, and in its deepest ooze 
thy life-blood lies curdled!" 

Then Spartacus said to his fellow gladiators, "Ye stand 
here now like giants, as ye are! The strength of brass is 
in your toughened sinews; but tomorrow some Roman Adonis, 
breathing sweet perfume from his curly locks, shall with his 
lily fingers pat your red brawn, and bet his sesterces upon 
your blood. Hark, hear ye yon lion roaring in his den? Tis 
three days since he's tasted flesh; but to-morrow he will break 
his fast upon yours, and a dainty meal for him ye will be. 
If ye are beasts, then stand here like fat oxen, waiting for 
the butcher's knife! But if ye are men follow me! Strike 
down yon guard, gain the mountain passes, and there do 
bloody work as did your sires at old Thermopylae! Is Sparta 
dead? Is the old Grecian spirit frozen in your veins, that 
you do crouch and cower like a belabored hound beneath 
his master's lash? O comrades, warriors, Thracians! if we 
must fight, let us fight for ourselves. If we must slaughter, 
let us slaughter our oppressors! If we must die, let it be 
under the clear sky, by the bright waters in noble, honorable 

Suppose that from this old Grecian spirit we take a little 
tighter hold on our own love of liberty. Circumstances change, 


but liberty is as dear to us as ever. Present day powerful 
forces of men and devils boast of their design to enslave 
every human being upon the earth and will attempt to do 
so without a moment's hesitation as soon as they think they 
can. We should also strike down all of the forces of evil 
that would enslave us in any way. God has told us that 
freedom can only be preserved in righteousness. "Bad men 
cannot make good citizens." "It is impossible that a nation 
of infidels or idolaters should be a nation of free men. It is 
when the people forget God that tyrants forge their chains 
and corruption flourishes in men's lives." Therefore as in- 
dividuals we must also free ourselves from every evil in- 

Edmund Burke says, "Men are qualified for ... liberty 
in exact proportion to their disposition to put chains upon 
their own evil appetites ... it is ordained in the eternal 
constitution of things that men of intemperate habits can- 
not be free, their passions forge fetters by which they bind 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the perfect way to free- 
dom and happiness. Apostle Paul says, "Where the spirit 
of the Lord is, there is liberty." (II Cor. 3:17) And to the 
Galatians he said, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherein 
Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with 
the yoke of bondage." (Gal. 5:1) What a tremendous phi- 
losophy for our own time. We have the most wonderful 
things to fight for, and one of the greatest is to keep alive 
in our individual hearts this God-given love of liberty with 
which we were endowed in the council in heaven, and which 
we must further increase so that we may help our nation 
and ourselves carry out our divine destiny. For this we 
should devote our prayers, supported by the full industry 
and courage of our lives. 

The Marred Vessel 

DECENTLY I talked with a man who 
'^ had so many problems that he 

seemed to represent a miniature composite of our troubled 
world. He seemed to have an uncanny ability for making 
all of the mistakes personally. His home had been broken 
up. His children were in trouble. He had lost his job, his 
self-respect and his faith. His life had been pitted and 
pocked with evil, and he was now going from one psychiatrist 
to another in a frantic attempt to find someone who would 
accept the responsibility of salvaging something from his 
miserable misspent life. 

Thinking that it might help his situation, I told him 
about the Lord sending Jeremiah down to the potters house 
to see the potter make a vessel on his pottery wheels. When 
the clay became marred the potter made it over, eliminating 
the original blemishes and carefully preventing any new 
ones from occurring. 

Then with this experience as a land of visual aid, the 
Lord sent Jeremiah out to show the people how the ugly 
blotches of sin were making marred vessels of their lives. 
The Lord was suggesting that the people imitate the potter 
in starting over and making something worth-while out of 
themselves. The Lord is always grieved when we corrupt 
ourselves and make our lives destructive and repulsive with 
evil. Through Jeremiah he said to the people, "Return ye 
now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and 
your doings good." But the Israelites did not seem to be 
interested. They said, **There is no hope; but we will walk 
after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagina- 
tion of his evil heart" (Jeremiah 18:1-12) 


Tliis seemed to closely match the attitude of my friend. 
He had brought so much ugliness and discouragement upon 
himself that reform seemed not only impossible but almost 
undesirable so far as his effort was concerned. He had been 
psychoanalyzed, threatened and begged to change his ways. 
But he had given evil such a stranglehold on his wishy- 
washy will that he seemed powerless to erase the repulsive 
scars or straighten out the confusion of his mixed-up, disobe- 
dient, unhappy existence. He seemed completely unskilled 
in righteousness and his evil bungling had produced a marred, 
unsightly vessel at its worst. 

It is understandable that God, who created us in his own 
image and above everything else desires our happiness, 
should want to be proud of his work, just as any good potter 
would like to turn out beautiful, flawless, valuable china. 
What a thrilling idea, and yet what a tremendous responsi- 
bility, that in agreement with the divine law of free agency, 
God has placed in our own hands the controls of the pottery 
wheels that fashion our lives. That is, the creation of man 
was not something that was finished and done with in the 
garden of Eden. The creation of man is still going on and 
we are the creators. We ourselves are shaping the attitudes, 
ideals, ambitions, desires, enthusiasms, and skills that will 
determine what we will be throughout all of eternity. The 
soft clay of our lives may be turned by us into vessels of 
beauty, or with faithless, sinful hands we may cause dam- 
aging cracks and uglv scars to mar our work forever. In 
any event, we are confronted with the challenging truth that 
what we will become is up to us. 

What a pity that anyone should take so little interest 
in himself, that by his own hand he should produce the 
ugly marks upon his soul to represent tragedy at its naked 

My friend caused me to think of a man who carries a 
large, rough, purple birthmark covering almost his entire 


face. His lips protrude grotesquely and his face is distorted 
to give it an almost inhuman appearance. This sickening 
blotch makes people shudder with pity, and after only a 
few seconds they turn away their faces. Of course, this 
unpleasantly marked man is extremely self-conscious and 
unhappy in spite of the fact that his face was marred through 
no fault of his own, and there is no reason for him to feel 
condemned or unworthy. 

The physical imperfections of faithful people will be 
corrected in the resurrection. But what about those who 
bring ugliness upon themselves by their own disobedience? 
Imagine standing in the presence of God with the filthy 
blotches of our own sins disfiguring our minds and souls. 

It is difficult to understand why the Israelites or any- 
one else should reject God when he is only trying to cleanse 
our lives and help us to qualify for celestial glory. But like 
the Israelites, in one way or another most of us say, "We 
will walk after our own devices, and each will follow the 
imaginations of his evil heart/* How ridiculous can we be? 
We know that sin is the most disfiguring disease in the world 
and it always stamps its loathsomeness upon us and there- 
after shows itself in everything we do. Yet our actions seem 
to indicate that we are frequently more interested in acquir- 
ing blemishes than in removing them. At least the subject 
we most dislike to talk about is repentance or reform or any 
other program calculated to turn us from evil. Only when it 
is too late will some of us discover that repentance is the 
most thrilling, exciting, constructive idea that there is in 
the world. It is through repentance that we remove the 
ugly blemishes so that we can possess and live beautiful, use- 
ful, happy lives. 

At one time Mary Magdalene, doubting Thomas and 
impetuous Peter were marred vessels. But they took ad- 
vantage of this remodeling process to remove the ugly scars 


and make another kind of a vessel which would please both 
themselves and God. 

The early life of Mohandas K. Gandhi also bore many 
glaring imperfections. He was a coward. He possessed a 
bad temper. He had some very serious sex problems. Then 
realizing the disadvantages that these unfavorable traits 
imposed upon him, he deliberately started out to remake 
himself, and later he called himself "a self-remade man." If 
you would like to have a good phrase backed up by a power- 
ful idea, here it is. Every really successful man is "a self- 
remade man." And many more of us could be successful 
if we could be converted to a good program of remodeling. 
But many people won't even talk about redoing themselves 
on the pottery wheels. They would rather continue to cover 
themselves with the leprous blotches of sin and the unsightly 
scars of thoughtlessness. And while reworking our own clay 
is one of our greatest opportunities, yet the privilege is not 
everlasting. The living clay in our hands, like that worked 
by the potter, sometimes becomes unpliable. The poet made 
an interesting comparison for us, when he said: 

I took a piece of plastic clay 
And idly fashioned it one day 
And as my fingers pressed it still 
It moved and yielded to my will. 

I came again when days were past, 
The bit of clay was hard at last, 
The form I gave it still it bore, 
But I could change it now no more, 

I took a piece of living clay 

And gently formed it day by day. 

I worked it with my power and art 

A young child's soft and yielding heart. 

I came again when days were gone. 
He was a man I looked upon, 
He still the early impress bore 
But I could change him nevermore. 


What a dreadful thing it might some time be to find 
that we were so hardened in our sins that we were no longer 
subject to change! What an unpleasant experience it would 
someday be to suffer eternal damnation while those with 
whom we previously associated were in full possession of a 
happy exaltation! Then their lives may be sparkling like 
perfectly formed, beautiful china, whereas our own must 
forever remain marred, ugly and unacceptable. What could 
be more heartbreaking than to spend eternity with our lives 
permanently blotched, dirty, miserable, guilty and unwanted, 
and to know that we come so far short of the blessings that 
we could have received? What could make less sense then, 
than the statement made to God by the Israelites saying, "We 
will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do 
the imagination of his evil heart"? What could be more bitter 
then than our own regret, or harder to bear than to know 
that we had missed the glory that others enjoy and that we 
could have had? The most devasting of all human emotions 
is the sense of being alone of being unworthy and unwanted. 
I wonder what repentance would mean if offered to a 
damned soul, and if that soul happened to be one of us, how 
much would we then be willing to pay in toil, tears, suffer- 
ing, or blood, if we could just turn back the calendar and 
have another chance to get our hands on our own pottery 

It is unpleasant enough to have a broken disfigured 
body or an unbalanced twisted mind, even through no 
fault of our own. But what will be our torment if by our 
own hands we turn out a defective soul and bring eternal 
suffering upon ourselves and others. Sin is the most destruc- 
tive of all influences. It destroys friendships, breaks family 
ties and leaves our lives eternally blotched and unsightly. 
Through sin we bring loneliness, failure and unhappiness 
upon ourselves by our own choice. 


Sin caused "the fall of man," and it also caused the fallen 
condition of the earth itself. God said to Adam, "Cursed 
is the ground for thy sake. In sorrow shalt thou eat of it 
all the days of thy life. Thorns also and thistles shall it 
bring forth unto thee." Because of Adam's transgression he 
was driven out of Eden. It was through his own sin that 
he turned his back on the fertile fields of paradise with its 
fruit-laden gardens, its abounding rivers, its indescribable 
beauty, and its unspeakable fellowship with God. With 
every possibility for happiness and success in Eden, and with 
unlimited access to all but one of the trees in the garden, man 
initiated a characteristic human action. After God had with- 
drawn his presence they partook of the forbidden fruit. As 
a consequence, instead of being able to bask in the glorious 
light of Paradise, Adam and Eve cast themselves out into 
a lone and dreary world. And because of subsequent dis- 
obedience, the world of men has lived largely as aliens from 

Even now while enjoying a most advantageous position, 
where we are so freely offered God's choicest blessings, we 
re-enact some of those ancient scenes as we turn our backs 
on righteousness and make a bee-line for the things that 
are forbidden. Strewn all along the shores of time we see 
the broken and discarded fragments of once beautiful vessels, 
marred beyond all usefulness by their own action. In the 
light of history we see the faithless people of Noah's genera- 
tion perishing in the flood. We know of the judgment and 
suffering in Egypt, because the wicked Pharaoh wantonly 
defied God's commands. We see Samson who had once 
known great strength and the presence of God's spirit, en- 
slaved by the Philistine to blindly and remorsefully turn 
the mill wheels of his enemies. We see Ring Saul consumed 
with envy, falling on the point of his own sword. We re- 
member Jezebel, defiant and unbelieving cast from the 
window of her palace for the dogs to eat. We see King 


David broken and shattered, with blood on his hands and 
sin in his heart, being cast into hell. 

Then we take a look at ourselves and our own day, 
where humanity is again running headlong toward destruc- 
tion as we say with the Israelites, "We will walk after our 
own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of 
his evil heart/ 3 And as a consequence, gloom, despair and 
loneliness settles over us in this life and casts their dismal 
shadows across the next. 

What happened in Eden was a kind of preview of what 
is happening every day in our own drama of human life. 
Many Edenic scenes are presently being re-enacted, and we 
are trading our divine right as heirs to the Celestial Kingdom, 
for the tawdry things of this world. Each day thousands of 
people turn their backs on their own best interests to become 
marred vessels on their own pottery wheels. 

The one redeeming feature of this situation is that the 
same power of choice, that leads us away from God, can lead 
us back. The same hands and the same potter's wheel that 
marred the vessel, can also mend it. We can turn away from 
sin and put ourselves in the hands of God, who above every- 
thing else desires that our lives may be clean and beautiful. 

In spite of our historic perverseness, God will guide our 
hands in this all-important responsibility if we will turn to 
him as we proceed to work at the pottery wheels of our own 

No Room in the Inn 

CACH YEAR at Christinas time our 
* minds go on a pilgrimage back 

to the little town of Bethlehem that has nestled among the 
Judean hills for so many centuries. The name Bethlehem 
means the house of bread, which might lend itself to more 
than one interpretation. Certainly it is wonderfully rich in 
its long and interesting history. It was here that Jacob buried 
his wife, Rachael. Bethlehem is where Ruth gleaned in the 
wheat fields of Boaz. It was also here that Ruth's great- 
grandson David was born and where he tended the sheep 
of his father Jesse. It was here that he was anointed by 
Samuel to be the king of Israel. This little town finally 
called itself by the name of its most famous son and was 
thereafter known as the City of David. 

But the Old Testament Prophet Micah had foretold that 
one greater than David should also be born in Bethlehem 
and that the most important event in the history of the world 
should here take place to distinguish little Bethlehem above 
all of the great cities of the world. Since the meridian of 
time, Bethlehem has been remembered primarily as the birth- 
place of the Savior of men. 

For that first Christmas, Mary and Joseph had come some 
65 miles from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea in 
response to the decree of Caesar Augustus that all the world 
should be taxed each in his own city. They arrived in Bethle- 
hem at about the time that Jesus was to be born. And Luke 
says of Mary, "And she brought forth her first-born son and 
wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, 
because tibere was no room for them in the inn.** 


As we think back to the birth of Jesus we feel a certain 
sense of shame and regret that there was no room in the 
inn for the Savior of the world to be born. It is also a very 
interesting thought that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords 
should be born in a stable. With his Heavenly Father he 
had created the earth in the first place, and yet there was 
no room in it for him to be born. But this fact is something 
more than an isolated event of interesting significance, it 
indicates what almost amounts to a theme song for his life. 
"No room" was one of the chief characteristics of his entire 
mortal existence. He himself summed up his experiences 
by saying, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of tibe air 
have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his 
head." (Matt. 8:20) 

He was not very old before the fierce opposition of 
Herod was directed against him. As soon as Herod learned 
of his birth from the wise men he sent soldiers to Bethlehem 
to kill the children. Judea was not big enough for a peaceful 
co-existence of both Herod and Jesus, so while Herod re- 
mained in power, Joseph and Mary took Jesus into far away 
Egypt because there was "no room" for him in the domain 
of Herod. But after Herod's death others kept the antagon- 
ism going as they continued the cry of "no room," "no room." 
There was "no room" for his teaching, "no room" for his 
doctrine, "no room" for his miracles. The chief priests and 
religious leaders wanted him put to death because they saw 
in him the downfall of their religious system and there was 
"no room" for both. Some argued that he was a threat to 
the Roman government and there was no room for him in 
the Roman world. Even in his death there was no place 
for his final rest, and so Joseph of Arimathea took his body 
down from the cross and laid it in his own tomb. 

But the birth and death of Jesus are now both ancient 
history. Since those historic events, some nineteen wide 
centuries have come and gone. The great Roman Empire 


has long since become little more than a memory. The 
problems of the religious leaders who brought about his 
death have long been buried with their dust. But Jesus did 
not give his life for his contemporaries alone, his mission 
applied with equal significance to us. It was our sins as well 
as theirs that made him volunteer his own death. What is 
our attitude about his life? We now delight to identify 
ourselves with the great name of Christian, and well we 
might. We have everything that others have had to con- 
vince us of his divinity. But in addition we have the judg- 
ment of time shining upon the life of Christ. We have the 
solemn assurance of the ancient apostles who sealed their 
testimony with their blood, bearing witness to us that he 
was divine. But on top of that, we have a great flood of 
testimony from many new witnesses. The question now be- 
fore us is, what have we done about it? We have greatly 
increased our standard of living. There are very few Amer- 
icans who would not now account it an unendurable hard- 
ship to have to live as Solomon lived in all of his glory. We 
have lengthened our own life expectancy from approximately 
19 years as it was in Jerusalem in the days of Jesus to 70 
years in the America of our day. We have vastly expanded 
our educational opportunities and our material accomplish- 
ments. We have cut in half the number of work hours 
reauired to earn our living. We have multiplied our luxury 
and increased our leisure time, but what spiritual advantage 
have we received from our superior education and the extra 
time placed at our disposal? 

Certainly the peace that the angels sang about has never 
seemed farther away than now. The great nations are crouch- 
ing ready to spring at each other with their hands filled with 
weapons too horrible to think about. The sin and evil that 
Jesus came to free us from is in many places now running 
unchecked through the world. Crime is at its awful height. 
Jesus came as our example. He lived a sinless life and fur- 
nished us with a working model of righteousness. His mes- 


sage was "Follow me." He asked us to follow him in his 
doctrine to follow him in his righteousness, to follow him 
in his love for others. But we have not followed Jesus, rather 
we have followed those who could find "no room." "No room" 
is still the significant cry of our world. We have made room 
for his gifts but we have found no room for the giver. We 
have made room for the extra leisure time, we have made 
room for our physical comforts, we have made room for horse 
races and baseball games we have made room for many 
violations of the Sabbath day, but we have no room for 
worship, no room for service, no room for the Savior of the 
world. Instead every day we reproduce in our lives that 
ancient scene at Bethlehem. 

The fact that there was no room for him to be born in 
the inn is not nearly so significant as that there is no room 
for his way of life. We have not taken seriously the prayer 
of the angels singing "glory to God in the highest." We plan 
to put peace in force with atomic bombs, while we continue 
to re-enact that historic drama of Bethlehem over and over 
again, not just in the pageants that we present at Christmas 
time, but this is what is also presented upon the greater 
stages of our individual lives. It has been said that souls 
are not saved in bundles or bunches. Salvation is an individual 
matter and Jesus approaches each of us with the offer of 
personal exaltation. His most important message has always 
been strictly individual, and today as of old, Jesus is saying 
to us, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man 
hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, 
and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that over- 
cometih will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I 
also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his 
throne" (Rev. 3:20-21) 

Many of the doors with which Jesus was familiar had 
the latch only on the inside and could not be opened from 
without. The door to the heart is still opened from within. 


The invitation for Jesus to enter our lives must still come 
from the inside. The door of the heart is not easily broken 
down by anyone beating upon it from without, the release 
must be operated from within. 

At Christmas time it is wonderful to sing: 

Oh Holy Child of Bethlehem, 
Descend to us we pray, 
Cast out our sin and enter in, 
Be born in us today. 

We hear the Christmas angels 
The great glad tidings tell, 
Oh, come to us, abide with us, 
Our Lord Emmanuel. 

But even though we sing the most beautiful songs and 
even though he stands at the door of our lives and knocks, 
not many doors are being opened. Too frequently we merely 
send back the ancient reply, "no room," "no room/ 3 

There was no room in Bethlehem because all of the 
available space was occupied. That still remains one of 
our most vexing situations. There are thousands of people 
who presently can find no room for Jesus because their lives 
are so completely filled with the pursuit of material things 
that they have little time for anything else. Making money 
so occupies our thoughts that we sometimes don't even rec- 
ognize our needs. Then like the Laodiceans we think "I am 
rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing/' 
The Laodiceans did not even know that they were "wretched 
and miserable and poor and blind and naked/' Some of us 
have no room because our lives are so filled with ignorance 
that understanding can find no place to set its foot. Others 
have no room for Jesus because their lives are so heavily 
loaded with sin. Some have hearts filled with sloth and 
have no room for the efforts required by salvation. You can't 
pour more water into a vessel that is already overflowing. 


Some have no time, no time to worship, no time for medita- 
tion, no time to get acquainted with his teachings, no time 
to feed our hearts on the things of the spirit, no time to 
devote to our own souls and to the God who created us. Our 
time is all taken up, and our activities are already fully 
allotted. Soneone has said: 

No time for God, what fools we are, 

To clutter up our lives with common things 

And leave without the Lord of life and life itself. 

No time for God, as well to say, 

No time to eat, to sleep, to live, to die 

Take time for God or a poor misshapen thing you'll be 

To step into eternity and say to him, 

I had no time for thee. 

Today Jesus stands at the citadel of our souls pleading 
for entrance. He pleads through the spoken word. He 
pleads through the scriptures. He pleads through the Spirit. 
He pleads through the voice of reason. He pleads through 
the witness of faithful parents and friends. But because we 
have no space left we reply "no room, no room/' We have 
no room for Jesus because most of us are looking for a religion 
convenience, one that takes no time, costs no money, requires 
no effort and will fit our lives without any changes on our 

As the spirit of Christmas fills our lives and as we are 
haunted by our embarrassment from nineteen centuries past, 
we should consider the advisability of making room for him 
in our own present If we are too busy to serve God, we are 
much too busy. If our lives are so filled as to crowd him out, 
then we should empty our lives and relieve the congestion 
which threatens to overthrow us. If the bucket of our 
lives is overloaded with dross, how are we going to be able 
to find some way to make room for some pure gold? 


In readjusting his life, one man once made up a long 
list of those things that he could get along without. That 
is a pretty good idea for our eternal success. Some of our 
lives are too full of sin. Some of us could get along with 
a little less ignorance and a little less indifference. Maybe 
we should pour out some of our interest in non-constructive 
things to make room for the things of God. 

There is a famous painting entitled., "Christ Before 
Pilate/' Some day we may see another picture entitled, 
"Pilate Before Christ." There may also be some future 
picture of some of us being turned away from celestial 
glory because there is no room there for lives overflowing 
with the wrong things. It is interesting to remember that 
all of these things that monopolize our interest and keeps 
us from God will also keep God from us. And all of these 
we had better learn to get along without. 

There is a sacred song that says, "I Walked Today 
Where Jesus Walked." And wouldn't it be a thrilling thing 
if we could go and stand on that very spot of ground where 
Jesus stood and try to absorb the spirit of his life. Or sup- 
pose that we go into Gethsemane and kneel at that place 
where under the burden of our sins he sweat great drops 
of blood at every pore while we try to recapture the spirit 
of his life. Or suppose that we go in imagination and stand 
before the final judgment. Then we might be able to more 
easily make up that interesting list of things that our lives 
could profitably get along without. 

It may not be practical for us to walk today where 
Jesus walked. But it is practical and a lot more important 
to think today what Jesus thought. We can live today as 
Jesus lived. We can unload our hearts of evil and clear 
the lethargy out of our ambition. Then we can fill our 
minds with our Father's purpose and our hearts with an 
understanding of his ways. We can loosen the latch and 


open the door of our souls and make room for the king of 
glory to come in. To make room for our Redeemer is the 
greatest opportunity of our lives, "For there is none other 
name under heaven given among men whereby we must be 
saved/' And Jesus is still saying as in olden times, "Behold 
I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, 
and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with 
him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant 
to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and 
am set down with my Father in his throne." 

My Christmas wish is that we may change that ancient 
Christmas pageant of Bethlehem so that we may really 
hear the angels' song and make room for the Redeemer 
of the world in our personal lives. 

The Odyssey 


OF OUR greatest writers was 
the blind Greek poet Homer, 
who lived in the ninth century B.C. His primary works 
consisted of two great book-length epic poems. The first 
is known as the "Iliad." It is the story of the famous 
Trojan War. Paris, a Trojan prince, eloped with Helen, the 
wife of Menelaus, long of Sparta. Menelaus enlisted the 
aid of his fellow longs of the little Greek states, including 
his brother Agamemnon, the great Greek fighter who was 
the long of Mycenae. This aggregation of fighting men 
sailed a thousand ships across the Aegean Sea and laid 
siege to Troy, a large and strongly fortified walled city 
near the Hellespont. The war lasted for ten long years. 
By a trick the Greeks finally got inside the walls of Troy. 
They destroyed its fighting power, sacked the city and 
burned it to the ground. Then they loaded their ships 
and sailed for home. 

Homer's second book is called the "Odyssey ." It is 
taken from die name of Odysseus, sometimes called Ulysses, 
who was king of Ithaca and one of the greatest of the Greek 
heroes. The "Odyssey" is an account of the experiences 
of Odysseus as he made his way across the three hundred 
miles of island-dotted sea lying between the battleground 
of Troy and his island home of Ithaca off the west coast 
of Greece. 

Odysseus was very happy as he started for home at the 
head of his fleet of ships. His men were all glad that the 
war was over and that they would soon be at their own 
firesides with their families. But in this they were doomed 
to disappointment, for along the way they met with one 


difficulty after another, many of which were far more de- 
structive than the war had been. By the time Odysseus 
finally reached Ithaca, every ship had been destroyed and 
the life of every man had been lost except only that of 
Odysseus himself. 

This great story of the Odyssey is the grandfather of 
all adventure stories. Homer knew every trick of storytelling. 
The Odyssey tells of man-eating giants, bewitching sirens, 
terrible monsters, frightening ghosts, roaring whirlpools, 
hair-raising adventures and romantic interludes, not to men- 
tion the interest added by Odysseus himself, who was one of 
the most courageous and ingratiating heroes in all of our 

The "Odyssey" has lived in such fine repute through 
the ages that the word itself has become a part of our lan- 
guage. "Odyssey" has come to mean any long wandering 
difficult journey. Of course the greatest of all odysseys is 
the journey of life itself. We also speak of our strivings for 
success as an odyssey. But Homer was not just a great 
storyteller, he also looked with keen insight into human 
lives and in a very interesting way described the courage, 
strategy, and superstrength with which these famous heroes 
tried to solve their problems. Their errors in judgment are 
made plain to us, and we are made aware of their moral 
weaknesses that were so frequently fatal. Homer's skill 
makes his heroes a mirror by which we can adjust our own 
lives as we relive their experiences. 

As Homer describes their problems, longings, and dis- 
appointments and he tells of the suffering that they 
so frequently brought upon themselves, we are stimulated 
to try to plan our own lives more profitably. This account 
of what these Greek heroes did and thought thirty centuries 
ago impresses us that human problems and frailties haven't 
changed very much in that time. In fact, we might go even 

Karlr ar>rl rf&rl from fHftf intfirftsHnff stonfi tablet 


up some time ago winch was supposed to have been written 
fifteen centuries before Troy. It says in part: "Bribery and 
corruption are common, children no longer obey their par- 
ents, the end of the world is at our doors and every man 
wants to write a book." That tablet might just as weU have 
been written in our own day. But in any event we can learn 
a great deal from the people of other ages, not only from 
the challenge of their greatness, but their weaknesses and 
sins help us, as they point out some of the pitfalls that we 
should avoid. 

Odysseus and his men had scarcely started for home 
when they were blown off their course by a raging wind 
which drove them to the island of the Lotus-Eaters. An 
old legend says that when men ate the magic fruit of the 
lotus tree they forgot about their families and responsibility 
and lived in dreamy forgetfulness and indolent enjoyment. 
Only when Odysseus dragged his sailors back aboard their 
ships were they able to recover enough of their ambition 
to continue their journey homeward. 

But their troubles were not confined to the winds and 
the lotus fruit. They had many problems, and every one 
different. At one time they landed on the island of the 
one-eyed Cyclops and were captured and held prisoners 
by the giant Polyphemus. They were only able to escape 
by blinding the monster with a pole, the end of which had 
been burned in the fire. Maddened with pain and rage, 
Polyphemus cried out to his father Poseidon, god of the sea, 
and enlisted his help to avenge the wrong. Their ships 
stopped at an island inhabited by man-eating giants, who 
destroyed most of the fleet with huge boulders and speared 
the men like fish. This was a devastating ordeal and only 
the men on the ship of Captain Odysseus survived to sail 
wretchedly onward. 

One of their greatest adventures came when they landed 
on the island of Circe, the enchantress. There some of the 


men fell into her hands and were turned into swine. But 
Odysseus obtained the use of a magic power by which he 
forced her to release her spell and set his men free. But 
this experience kept Odysseus and his men a full year on the 
island of Circe. 

In the course of their journey they were required to 
pass an island where some bewitching sirens lived. It was 
known that in times past the song of the sirens had lured 
many sailors to their deaths. Odysseus had been warned 
about the hazard of listening to the music of these fascinating, 
dangerous creatures. When he came near to these islands, 
fearing that his men would not be able to withstand the 
temptation, he had all of the members of his crew fill their 
ears with wax so that they would not be able to hear the 
siren's song. Odysseus himself was overcome by curiosity 
and did not put wax in his own ears. But not quite trust- 
ing his own strength, he protected himself against weakness 
by having his men bind him to the mast. He gave them 
strict orders that no matter what might happen, they must 
not release him until they were past the island and out of 
range of the temptation. When they came within the hyp- 
notic sound of the siren*s song, Odysseus weakened and 
ordered his men to pull their ship onto the shore. But the 
ears of his men were full of wax and they could not hear 
his orders. The caution of Odysseus saved the day and they 
rowed on past the temptation. 

This ten-year odyssey involved many other great dan- 
gers. After passing the sirens they were required to run the 
gauntlet down the narrow strait passing between the vast 
whirlpool of Charybdis, on the one side, and the death- 
dealing monster Scyfla on the other. If the ship went just 
a little too far to the right, it would be drawn into the deadly 
whirlpool; if it went to far to the left, it would be within 
reach of the treacherous Scylla. Even though they barely 
missed the whirlpool and they rowed with great skill, yet 


six of his men were snatched from the deck as their ship 
passed the rock of this six-headed female monster. 

Odysseus had hoped to avoid the sun god's island, but 
because of an unfavorable gale they were marooned there 
for weeks. Despite their leader's warning, his men butchered 
some of the sacred cattle. In revenge their ship was shattered 
with lightning and every single man was killed except 
Odysseus. And he was blown, clinging to some of the 
wreckage, back to the whirlpool, where an overhanging fig 
tree saved his life, and when the timbers again floated up 
to the surface and out of the whirlpool, Odysseus clung 
to them and struggled on alone to the island home of the 
nymph Calypso. 

For the next seven years Calypso held Odysseus a 
prisoner while he longed for his home and his wife Penelope. 
At last, on orders from Zeus, Calypso let Odysseus sail on. 
But watchful Poseidon wrecked his home-made boat and 
Odysseus, a victim of amnesia, was flung upon the island 
of the Phaeacians. The king's daughter took him to her 
father's court. The friendly long entertained Odysseus 
royally and finally sent him home in one of his ships, so that at 
last, after ten years of wandering, Odysseus, the sole survivor 
of the voyage, reached the shores of Ithaca. At home after 
twenty years of absence, he found about as many troubles 
as he had encountered along the way. 

In this great story, Homer intended to remind us of 
the odyssey of our lives. We also have problems along 
life's way. Very frequently we also win the great wars 
of our lives and then lose out while doing some comparatively 
easy, simple thing. There are times when, to protect our- 
selves, we should fill our ears with wax and put blinders 
over our eyes, or have ourselves bound to the mast as a 
protection against ourselves. If we look and listen intently 
enough either the sirens or their songs can sometimes be- 


witch our greatest powers. Almost daily we are required to 
sail that straight course between Charybdis and Scylla. Jesus 
talked a great deal about this same land of a situation, but 
used a different figure of speech. Jesus called this hazardous 
course "the strait and narrow way." But it is made clear 
that in either case there isn't much room for meandering 
or carelessness. Sometimes just one wrong step and we are 
in serious trouble, sometimes disaster awaits us on both 
sides. Someone gave expression to this idea by saying that 
the devil was on one side and the cliff and the deep blue sea 
on the other. A misstep either way and we are in trouble. 

But isn't it interesting that all of these men survived 
the fierce ten-year Trojan War, but only one survived what 
was supposed to be a peaceful trip home? They had sur- 
vived the onslaught of the strongest enemy soldiers and 
then went down in defeat before the bewitching enchant- 
ment of Circe or the languorous appeal of the lotus fruit. 
They could handle the hard tasks, but failed to stand up 
against the easy, pleasant, beguiling, sweet-smelling sins. As 
a consequence their loss which had been small during the 
ten-year war was nearly 100 percent during the ten-year 
odyssey. This reminds us of the statement of Jesus about 
the broad road that leads to destruction. It is traveled by so 
many people even though it leads everyone who follows it 
to a place they don't want to go. Our odyssey is often more 
difficult than that of the Greeks, inasmuch as it usually lasts 
longer than ten years. But the things that usually bother 
us most are not the hard, tough battles or the difficult 
problems, it is the lethargy, the sloth, the little evils, the bad 
habits, and wrong attitudes. And instead of putting wax 
in our ears and blinders on our eyes at the right time, we 
put on our magnifying glasses and turn up our hearing 
aids as we pay too much attention to the wrong things. 
Because we don't want to miss anything, we hold too many 
"foot in the door" conversations with temptation. 


Then, lilce Ulysses, we most often stumble and fall 
over the trivialities. Plutarch once said, "It is not in the 
lists that the victors are made, but after the contests are 
over." The graveyard of success in life is filled with the 
bones of men who killed all the dragons of the battlefield 
and then went to their doom during times of peace, because 
they could not withstand the little pleasant temptations that 
beckoned them. 

Like the problems of Odysseus, all our problems are 
different, making it more difficult to be prepared against 
them. We get some wrong ideas and attitudes into our minds 
and then we allow them either to befog, befoul, belittle, 
belie, bewitch, benight, becalm, benumb, or betray us until 
we are lost. Sometimes even the extra courage and self- 
confidence of the hero lulls him into a false sense of security 
and makes him careless enough to take unnecessary chances 
that anyone of lesser ability would avoid. There are also 
experiences along life's way that, like the enchantress Circe, 
can cast strange spells over us to make us do strange things, 
sometimes even turning us into swine. Sometimes we are 
frightened into discouragement or paralyzed by the soft 
warm enchantments that get possession of our imagination. 

Ulysses saved himself because he was more wise in 
devising his strategy and overcoming the hazards that he 
met along the way. But even he wasted ten years of his 
life fighting these beguiling enchanting sins. May God help 
us to win the great battles but may we also be successful in 
solving life's little problems in this all important odyssey of 
our own lives. 

The Other End of the Telescope 


E OF THE influences that reacts 
most detrimentally upon our 
success is a common distortion that frequently gets into 
our outlook. We often develop a kind of unreliability of view- 
point that makes our senses themselves undependable. We 
are all familiar with that peculiar kind of color blindness, 
that makes the grass look greener on the other side of the 

We know that a man suffering from thirst on the desert 
frequently sees mirages. But mirages are not limited to 
the desert. Most of us have some optical illusions about 
our hopes, our fears, and the things that we don't understand. 
We often have personal blind spots that prevent us from 
seeing ourselves in our true prespective. Consequently we 
frequently assume a point of view that does not square 
with either reason, fact or reality. 

A recent survey conducted by Look magazine indi- 
cated that 75% of all workers hate their jobs. At first thought 
it would seem easy to solve such a problem. The dissatisfied 
workers could merely quit the jobs that they didn't like, and 
accept those which held for them the greatest possible appeal. 
This procedure runs into a snag, however, for the second 
job usually loses its charm more rapidly than the first. Some 
people never like any job. To them all jobs for which they 
have responsibility looks deformed and uninteresting. This 
defect causes many people to be continually jumping from 
one job to another, with real job satisfaction always eluding 

To begin with, job satisfaction is not so much in the 
work, as in the worker. Job appeal like all other kinds of 


appeal is primarily in people. The reason that everybody 
doesn't laugh at the same jokes is because the jest is more 
in the ear of the hearer, than on the tongue of the teller. 
A distortion is easily possible that makes some people laugh 
only at off-color jokes, or jokes causing pain to someone 
else. To a very large extent beauty, truth, and appreciation 
is also in the eye of the beholder. Those people who are 
always getting married and divorced are usually suffering 
from an unstable viewpoint. 

We are all aware of how our point of view can change 
as we get closer to a situation. For example we are greatly 
attracted by the beauty and fragrance of the roses that be- 
long to someone else. It is only when we clutch the stems in 
our own hands that we discover the thorns. It is a dangerous 
truth that "distance lends enchantment/' It can cause us to 
make unhappy unfavorable comparisons between ourselves 
and others. This distortion in our viewpoint made it necessary 
for the Lord to give the tenth commandment wherein he said, 
"Thou shalt not covet/' He was trying to get us to focus our 
attention on the things we have, rather than on those we lack. 
When covetous eyes reach across the neighbor's fence, they 
see a greater opportunity, a better wife and a greener lawn. 

Because most people are so unhappy with their own 
circumstances someone once designed a scheme to make 
everyone happy by a more agreeable distribution of their 
total problems. Accordingly everyone was asked to lay his 
burdens and defects in a great pile. People put down their 
glass eyes, their wooden legs, their hard jobs, and their 
unsatisfactory opportunities. These were to be exchanged 
for problems that would be more agreeable to them. Then 
they marched by the pile again to pick up a more pleasant 
set of difficulties. But while no one was very pleased with 
his own lot, he couldn't find anyone elses problems that 
were any more satisfactory. So everyone ended up by taking 
back the same defects and problems that he had laid down. 


It is not a new set of troubles that we need most but a more 
accurate perspective for viewing those that we akeady have. 

I had an interesting experience sometime ago at a foot- 
ball game when a friend allowed me to look through his 
field glasses at the players. With these telescopic lenses 
on my eyes the players were greatly enlarged and brought 
up close to my eyes. But when I turned the glasses around 
and looked at the players through the other end of the tele- 
scope the illusion was exactly reversed. The new perspective 
made the players seem small and a long way away. The 
difference was not in the players but in the lenses through 
which I looked. 

In 1609 Galileo invented the telescope to enlarge the 
stars and bring them close enough for him to study. About 
this time the microscope was invented to enlarge invisible 
microbes. However it is very interesting to remember that 
long before Galileo, men and women were being equipped 
with telescopic minds capable of enlarging or belittling any- 
thing they focused upon. Our problems arise only because 
we don't always know how to look at things. 

Someone once wrote: 

I looked at my brother through the telescope of 
scorn and said, "How small my brother is." 
I looked at my brother through the microscope of 
hate, and said, "How coarse my brother is/* 
Then I looked at my brother in the mirror of truth 
and said, "How like me my brother is." 

However, this interesting ability to increase size and 
shorten distance, can be used to help compensate for this 
distortion in our perspective. For example, if you look down 
a long row of telephone poles, the one by which you are 
standing seems very large and impressive, whereas the one 
on the distant horizon seems very small and insignificant. 
But if you look at the distant telephone pole with a telescope 


on your eye, you may restore some of its lost size and 
importance and accordingly avoid the deception to your 

Tliis error of viewpoint applies not only to distance 
but also to time. If you ask your six-year-old son, which 
he would rather have, a quarter today or a dollar next month, 
unless he is very unusual boy, the quarter that will solve 
one of his present problems looks bigger to him than a 
dellar placed thirty days in the future. If you would like 
to perform this interesting experiment on a little larger scale, 
say to your wife, which would you rather have a new gown 
today, or a aew refrigerator today, or mansions in heaven 
twenty-five years from now? I don't know how your wife 
will respond to that kind of situation, but it is a very interest- 
ing experiment Once when a colored boy was about to 
steal a watermelon a friend said to him, "Rufus, if you take 
that watermelon now, you will have to pay for it in eternity/' 
Rufus said, "If I can have that much time Til take two!" 

When you set the repayment date far enough into the 
future, any debt or any penalty or any suffering, can be 
reduced to insignificance in our minds. This deception 
tricks us into irresponsibility and procrastination. Any re- 
sponsibility looks easier the more the time for its performance 
is postponed. This defect quickly destroys our judgment, 
unless we develop the ability to compensate. We remember 
that this was the principle that got Esau into trouble. One 
day Esau came home hungry and Jacob said to him, "Esau, 
if you will assign over to me your birthright, if you will give 
me all of your property your barns, cattle, houses, and lands, 
I will give you a mess of pottage." To one who has just 
eaten a good dinner that kind of proposition would sound 
a little bit ridiculous, but Esau was hungry now and that 
changed his viewpoint I suppose he thought what difference 
does it make what happens tomorrow, I am hungry right 


It is this defect of point of view that makes today loom 
so very large while tomorrow is either completely blotted 
out, or so reduced in importance that it doesn't matter much 
one way or another. All of us are victimized by this de- 
ception that made a poor man out of potentially wealthy 
Esau. A mess of pottage doesn't sound very appetizing 
to me, but it must have sounded differently to Esau, as he 
traded of everything he had to get it. Yet this same illu- 
sion is still one of our most common hazards. Very few 
days go by that we ourselves don't trade off some future 
birthright for some present pottage. Even Esau made a 
good deal as compared to some of us. Lowell said, 

"For a cap of bells our lives we pay, 
Bubbles we buy with a whole soul's tasking." 

This defect also makes us poor traders. The people of 
Noah's day traded off their future right to live forever in 
the Celestial Kingdom for a few present years of wicked 
indulgence. They were drowned in the flood because they 
held todays sins so close to their eyes that God and their 
eternal happiness were almost completely blotted out. They 
looked at righteousness through the belittling end of the 
telescope whereas they magnified the importance of their 
sinful activities all out of proportion to the facts. Of course, 
the things that determine our conduct isn't so much what 
the facts are, it's what we think about the facts that is im- 

Before we can see and judge accurately, we must be 
able to compensate for this natural deception. That is, the 
stars that Galileo wanted to study were actually not mere 
specks as they seemed to be. Actually they were giant 
bodies of tremendous importance and even the greatest 
magnifying glass could only restore to Galileo's eye a fraction 
of reality. Esau magnified the pottage, whereas if he had 
looked at his birthright through the big end of the telescope 


he never would have made such a foolish error. Of course 
there are some places where we need to reverse this process. 
Instead of magnifying the thorns of life we can increase our 
satisfaction by looking at them through the belittling end of 
the telescope. 

A usual procedure during courtship is to look at the 
intended spouse through the magnifying end of the telescope. 
Then when the toast gets burned a few times after marriage 
we switch the telescope around. An exact reversal of this 
procedure will get far better results. An old proverb says, 
"that love is blind." And someone has said that we should 
keep our eyes open to faults before marriage and partly 
closed afterward. We should be at least as generous with a 
wife as we are with a picture, which we always give the 
advantage of the best possible light. 

A little girl once told of an interesting technique used 
by her grandfather. She said that when he ate cherries, he 
always put on his red glasses because they made the cherries 
look so much bigger and redder. This procedure also makes 
the difference between an optimist and a pessimist. One 
looks at his opportunities through the big end of the tele- 
scope, while the other uses that end to look at his obstacles. 
Discouraged, downhearted people are often those who look 
at their wives, their duties and their opportunities through 
the belittling end of the telescope. All they need to do is 
turn the telescope around and get a new point of view. 

Someone once wrote an interesting song about 'looking 
at the world through rose colored glasses." Jesus meant about 
the same thing when he said something about loving our 
enemies. It all depends on which end of the telescope we 
look through. This idea has some other interesting possibil- 
ities, for example, suppose that all sinners should look at their 
evil through the magnifying end of the telescope so that they 
could understand the full seriousness of what they are 
doing. Or suppose that all failures would use a similar pro- 


cedure in regard to their weaknesses and mistakes. This 
procedure would have saved the world in Noah's day, where- 
as, by belittling their sins and making them seem unimportant, 
Noah's contemporaries brought the flood upon themselves. 
Suppose that we look at our sins through the telescope that 
God uses, God cannot look upon sin with the least degree 
of allowance. What wonderful people we would be if we 
W 7 ould develop that same land of perspective. 

What kind of a telescope do we use when we look at 
God and eternal life and the Celestial Kingdom. What 
would happen in our lives if we had a telescope to bring 
heaven up into the present Someone has said that heaven 
is all right, it's just too far away. When heaven seems distant 
it also seems unimportant. 

Like Galileo we need a telescope powerful enough to 
bring the things of the future up close enough to restore their 
importance to our minds. One reason why deathbed repent- 
ance is often so intense is because death brings us close to 
the consequences of our evil. That is we now see a gigantic 
telephone pole that once seemed like only a pinpoint on the 
horizon. If we can get a little closer to God and righteousness, 
new ambitions and new determinations will be incited in 
our minds and hearts. One with perfect vision is the one 
who can presently see heaven and the future in the propor- 
tions that they will have for those who actually get there. 
The things of overwhelming importance in the future will 
be the eternal things. Unfortunately for most of us our 
situation then will already have been determined by the way 
we are looking at our situation now. Therefore a wise man 
will frequently ask himself now if he knows how to use his 
mental and emotional telescope in the most effective wav. 

Which end of the telescope do we use when we look at 
sin, from what perspective do we regard the use of alcohol, 
tobacco, profanity, dishonesty, and immorality? There are 
some who say that what we think or do doesn't matter, that 


we are all going to the same place anyway. By this process 
of reasoning the great sins can be shrunk in importance so 
that like the antediluvians we can commit them without 
even blinking. 

The Bible points at the fool who said in his heart, "there 
is no God," but someone has pointed at a far greater fool 
who says there is a God, but then lives as though there was 
none. More than perhaps anything else, we need to develop a 
more godly perspective about truth, and righteousness, and 
the word of the Lord. God knows more about heaven than 
we do, as he has been there. He knows more about values 
and happiness than we do. We can bring God and heaven 
closer to us by accepting God's enlarged perspective, by 
turning up the volume of the still small voice, by increasing 
in our minds the importance of the Holy Scriptures, and 
then actually living by our enlarged viewpoint. 

Pandoras Box 

is a very important part of 
the literature of the world that 
comes under the heading of "useful fiction." That is, some 
of our literature deals in events that have never actually taken 
place and yet they may serve a very useful purpose. For 
example, in the fables, animals are given the power of speech 
and serve more or less as stand-ins for human beings on the 
stage of life. This land of synthetic experience can often 
help us to develop ourselves and teach us to see our errors 
and weaknesses more clearly. 

Soldiers can learn a great deal about war by fighting a 
few sham battles. Law students increase their skill in make- 
believe trials. And human beings generally can learn many 
of life's important lessons as they are presented to the 
imagination by animal actors. Of course, the great fables are 
built upon a foundation of truth with just enough fiction 
added to give them color and interest. For example, every- 
one has profited from the experience of the Tortoise and the 
Hare, the Fox and the Grapes, the Magician and the Mouse, 
and the Spider and the FIv. Under the stimulation of fictional 
characters the lessons of life may be given anv desired degree 
of enlargement to make sure that the moral will not be missed. 

With nothing but personal experience to learn from, we 
might be compared to soldiers taking their basic training 
with live ammunition, thereby greatly increasing the dan- 
ger involved in learning. Through fiction we may accomplish 
what they used to attempt in ancient plays, when they put 
masks on the players indicating the parts they were to play, 
so that everyone could identifv the villain and the hero as 
soon as the play began. Either in fiction or non-fiction. 


however, the events themselves may be relatively unimpor- 
tant. The value comes from the fact that we are learning 
true principles. 

There is another interesting part of this useful literature 
called mythology. The ancient Greeks were masters at mak- 
ing up stories and putting experiences together synthetically 
to influence conduct and motivate acomplishment. But 
instead of using animals, the Greeks set their stage on a much 
grander scale with a race of super mortals playing the prin- 
cipal parts. The increased importance of the actors gave 
more power and greater influence to the ideas presented. 
The Grecian mythology created an attitude and provided a 
motivation not possible when human imagination is left 
unaided. The myths, like the fables, contained a strata of 
truth with enough fantasy and color to give the idea glamour 
and appeal. The heroic outlook and the dynamic atmosphere 
thus created among the Greeks helped to bring about their 
Golden Age. 

There is a very interesting Grecian story about the crea- 
tion. It tells of a gigantic race of Titans, supposed to have 
inhabited the earth before men. They created the animals 
and divided the available faculties and abilities among them. 
They gave some of the animals courage, some cunning, some 
strength, some size and some swiftness. Wings, feathers, furs, 
claws, shells and tusks were all appropriately distributed. 
But the most wonderful abilities were reserved for man. 
Man alone was given the magnificent gifts of reason, foresight, 
insight, judgment, speech, will power, love, a knowledge of 
good and evil and an upright posture. He was also given 
an exclusive right to personality and is the only part of crea- 
tion with the ability to smile. 

Then Prometheus, one of the Titans, went to heaven 
where he lighted a torch from the sun and brought fire 
back to the earth for the use of men. Fire enabled man to 
make weapons to subdue the wild beasts, and to make tools 

PANDORA'S Box 23u 

to cultivate the ground. He could then cook his food, warm 
his dwelling, and be comparatively independent of the 

Then at the high point of creation a woman was brought 
into being to be the companion of man. But inasmuch as 
this event had a little extra special significance, it was done 
in heaven under the direction of Zeus himself. 

Zeus invited all of his associates among the gods to give 
some special gift to the woman. Aphrodite gave her beauty, 
Hermes gave her eloquence, Apollo gave her music, and 
others made special contributions running into a long list of 
the most magnificent gifts. The woman was named Pan- 
dora which means a "gift from all." Thus nobly equipped 
and endowed, she was conveyed to the earth and presented 
to man by whom she was gladly accepted. 

But there was another side of creation involving the 
important law of opposites. There is a natural duality in 
the universe made up of both good and evil. And while 
the gods were picking out these wonderful gifts for Pandora, 
they were locking up the evils in a great box. This was 
also sent to the earth along with Pandora, with instructions 
that it should never be opened. 

Up to this point everything had been going along beauti- 
fully. But Pandora had an interesting weakness called curi- 
osity. She was not an evil person but she was subject to 
a severe and continual temptation to find out what was 
in the box. Finally when she could resist no longer, she 
very cautiously opened the lid for a peek inside. But then to 
her horror, out came all of the plagues, the sorrows and the 
miseries that had provided creation's balance between good 
and evil. All human ills had been placed in the box, there 
was gout, rheumatism and the other diseases to plague the 
body. There was envy, spite and revenge to trouble the 
mind, and sin, error and evil to condemn the spirit. All of 
these evils have continued to plague mankind ever since. 


One picture showing this horrible release, details in 
visual form the most hideous evil shapes taking their flight 
and scattering themselves far and wide over the earth. Ter- 
rified Pandora tried to replace the lid, but before this could 
he done all of the occupants had escaped except only one. 
Only hope remained in the box. In some way this wonderful 
quality of hope had been included among the evils. It alone 
failed to get away and fortunately for us, for no matter what 
ills may beset us, we always have hope to cling to. And 
no one is ever completely wretched as long as he has hope. 

Of course, we do not need to think about this myth very 
long before we find a number of interesting parallels for our 
lives. To begin with, how could we be unappreciative of 
the magnificent gifts of body, mind, personality and spirit 
that we have in our possession? The usefulness of these 
divine gifts are also capable of the greatest possible enlarge- 
ment by us. We have also been impressed with the important 
fact that the law of opposites is still with us. It is a basic 
part of life's program that our world is made up of good and 
evil, right and wrong, happiness and misery, and our purpose 
is to learn to choose effectively between them. Each of us 
may enjoy the good and we must also be on guard against 
the evil. In fact, in a very real way, each one of us have been 
presented with a Pandora Box of his own, with enough po- 
tential troubles to match our blessings. Our box has also 
been filled and closed and locked with instructions that all 
of the evils should be kept inside. And whenever we have 
problems, it is usually because we have opened the box and 
turned the evils loose upon ourselves. 

To cite an historic example, Cain took the lid off his 
Pandora Box when he slew his brother Abel. Before this 
unfortunate act, Cain had everything designed to make him 
happy. He had been created in God's image and he had 
been endowed with God's possibilities. He had land, wealth, 
health, dominion, opportunity, peace, family, security, free- 

PANDORA'S Box 233 

dom, religion and the inestimable companionship of God 
himself. Pandora's problem was curiosity, but Cain's was 
covetousness. And like Pandora, Cain was also disobedient. 
Both did exactly what they had been told not to do. It 
probably didn't take Cain any longer to kill Abel than it did 
for Pandora to open her box. And both released undreamed 
of troubles upon themselves. 

And after Cain had committed his evil the Lord said 
to him, "And now art thou cursed . . . When thou tillest the 
ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; 
a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth." 

Then with feelings of what must have been the greatest 
regret for his sins, Cain said to the Lord, "My punishment is 
greater than I can bear." But after the deed had been done, 
there wasn't very much that Cain could do about it. He 
could no more bring back Abel's life than Pandora could get 
her ills back into the box. 

If we could get a good clear mental picture of all of 
these offensive, ugly, evil shapes that are packed into each 
Pandora Box, it might help us to understand what a terrible 
thing it is to tamper with the lid that may release them. 
Pandora was extremely sorry once these plagues were set 
at large, and Cain felt that his troubles were so great that 
he couldn't bear them, but once released what else could 
he do? 

It is a challenging thought that every day in some degree 
we open our own Pandora Box and turn loose enough troubles 
to vex us the rest of our lives. I know of a young woman 
who recently made some serious mistakes. In trying to cover 
them up she made some more mistakes. When an attempt 
was made to help her that required her cooperation and a 
change of attitude, she turned against her helpers and her 
family. She quit school, rejected her friends, and even 
turned against God. And as she began taking off the lid of 


her Pandora Box, the most hideous kinds of evil shapes be- 
gan swarming around her. In her inexperience and lack of 
understanding, they are not only making her unhappy but 
they are threatening to destroy her eternal life itself. Her 
sins are not only plaguing her but they are embarrassing her 
brothers and sisters and breaking her parents' hearts. But 
just as long as she maintains her ill-advised course and fights 
righteousness her troubles will continue to torment her, mul- 
tiplying as they do so. 

One man recently did something wrong and the troubles 
that overwhelmed him as a consequence prompted him to 
say that he thought "all hell had broken loose." And that is 
a fairly accurate description of about what sometimes hap- 
pens. We remember that the poet said something about 
heaven lying about us in our infancy. But I suppose it could 
also be truthfully said that hell also stays pretty close to us, 
not only in our infancy but throughout our lives. And each 
of us has the terrible power at any hour of the day or night 
to take off the lid and turn all hell loose upon himself. 

Certainly Pandora's story should greatly stimulate our 
determination not only to keep the lid on but also to keep 
it tightly locked. These potential troubles can't get out unless 
we ourselves remove the lid. But even if the lid has already 
been removed we still have hope to cling to. As this situa- 
tion applies to us it seems that there is an amendment that 
can be made to this story. Even though some evils have 
been let loose, we might still be able to get them back into 
the box. For example, I know that if the young woman 
mentioned above would think her problems through a little 
more logically, then acknowledge her mistakes to herself, 
and go before her Father in heaven with a heart full of re- 
pentance, she could put an end to what appears to her to 
be a persecution from evil. If she would lend her coopera- 
tion, her parents could help her work out some good solu- 
tions to her problems and although she already has been 

PANDORA'S Box 237 

severely stung and badly hurt, yet she could probably even 
now get every one of these sinister shapes back into the box 
and lock down the lid. This might leave her even better off 
than she was before, because with the lessons she has now 
learned she would never want to take off the lid again. Then 
she would have all of her time to develop and use these won- 
derful heaven-made qualities with which she was originally 
endowed in such wonderful abundance. 

A Psalm of Life 

OF THE very interesting and 
important books of the Bible is 
the Book of Psalms. This book contains a collection of 150 
sacred poems and songs that were sung in the religious serv- 
ices of ancient times. They were also used in bringing com- 
fort and encouragement to the worshipers. The fundamental 
character of the psalms still help us to give expression to our 
deepest religious feelings, and they have struck a responsive 
chord in the heart of men and women in every age. The 
strength and universality of their appeal still gives them great 
value in our personal lives as they promote in us the spirit 
of brotherhood and worship. 

The version of the Psalms, as contained in the Book 
of Common Prayer is called the Psalter. That is also a term 
that an order of nuns sometimes apply to the 150 beads 
that makes up their rosary. The psalms themselves are 
sometimes memorized and used as a kind of rosary in de- 
veloping the right attitudes in us. 

But the same purpose is often served by the valuable 
ideas and inspirational poems that are not included in the 
Bible. For example, in 1838 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 
wrote in verse an uplifting philosophy called "A Psalm of 
Life/* in which he stimulates our thinking with a collection 
of great ideas urging our personal improvement. Poetry has 
been described as "language dressed up in its best clothes/' 
and the poets stand next to the prophets in their ability to 
elevate our ideals, stimulate our hopes and charge our 
ambitions with power. 

Each of the 150 psalms in the Bible serves some differ- 
ent purpose, and Mr. Longfellow's "Psalm of Life" is also 


capable of making an important contribution. It may also 
be memorized and added to the rosary of ideas tbat we store 
up in our hearts to be recalled and rerun as occasion requires. 
In Mr. Longfellow's "Psalm of Life" he says: 


Tell me not, in mournful numbers, 

Life is but an empty dream! 
For the soul is dead that slumbers, 

And things are not what they seem. 

Life is real! Life is earnest! 

And the grave is not its goal; 
Dust thou art, to dust returnest, 

Was not spoken of the soul. 

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow 

Is our destined end or way; 
But to act, that each tomorrow 

Find us farther than today. 

Art is long, and Time is fleeting, 
And our hearts, though stout and brave, 

Still, like muffled drums, are beating 
Funeral marches to the grave. 

In the world's broad field of battle, 

In the bivouac of life, 
But not like dumb, driven cattle! 

Be a hero in the strife! 

Trust no Future, howe er pleasant! 

Let the dead Past bury its dead! 
Act, act in the living Present! 

Heart within, and God o'erhead! 

Lives of great men all remind us 

We can make our lives sublime, 
And, departing, leave behind us 

Footprints on the sands of time. 

Footprints, that perhaps another 

Sailing o'er life's solemn main, 
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother, 

Seeing, shall take heart again. 


Let us then be up and doing, 

With a heart for any fate; 
Still achieving, still pursuing, 

Learn to labor and to wait. 

One of our most profitable abilities is to be able to use 
great ideas to stimulate our lives to righteous accomplish- 
ment. In one way we are all psalmists, and the psalms that 
have the greatest influence upon our lives are those that 
we compose ourselves. Some psalmists write their psalms in 
the flesh and blood of human life. In fact, life itself is a kind of 
sacred poem. Like the psalms, each life is different and 
comes in a different spirit with a different message. 

One of the interesting facts about the life of Henry 
Wadsworth Longfellow was that he lived when the black- 
smith shop was one of the most important community in- 
stitutions. Those of us who are a little older remember with 
what fascination we watched the blacksmith swing his great 
hammer as he shaped the hot iron upon the anvil. At every 
blow the sparks flew out in a fiery shower. We delighted 
to watch the flaming forge, and hear the clear ring of the 
hammer beating out its rhythm upon the anvil. 

Mr. Longfellow's chief interest as a poet and a lecturer 
was in helping to fashion the lives of men and women to 
more useful service. And because of the similarity of the 
work of the lecturer and the smithy, Longfellow developed 
an unusual interest in the particular village blacksmith shop 
that stood in Brattle Street under the great chestnut tree. 
He used to watch the blacksmith changing the shape and 
usefulness of the iron upon the anvil. Then he made his 
interesting comparisons to human life. Our habits and ac- 
tions are also molded by the sledge hammer of our effort. 
The good ideas and high examples of our experiences are 
turned into great accomplishment in the blacksmith shop of 
pur lives. 


Under date of October 5, 1839, Mr. Longfellow recorded 
in his diary that that day he had just written a new psalm 
3f life and had called it "The Village Blacksmith." When 
[ went to school this great poem was not only required read- 
ing but it also had to be memorized, and that still seems a 
pretty good idea to me. Suppose that we make Mr. Long- 
Fellow's poem a part of our rosary of great thoughts. He said: 


Under a spreading chestnut-tree 

The village smithy stands; 
The smith, a mighty man is he, 

With large and sinewy hands; 
And the muscles of his hrawny arms 

Are strong as iron bands. 

His hair is crisp, and black, and long, 

His f abe is like the tan; 
His brow is wet with honest sweat, 

He earnis whatever he can, 
And looks the whole world in the face, 

For he owes not any man. 

Week in, week out, from morn till night, 
You can hear his bellows blow; 

You can hear him swing his heavy sledge, 
With measured beat and slow, 

Like a sexton ringing the village bells. 
When the evening sun is low. 

The children coming home from school 

Look in at the open door; 
They love to see the flaming forge, 

And hear the bellows roar, 
And catch the burning sparks that fly 

Like chaff from a threshing-floor. 

He goes on Sunday to the church, 

And sits among his boys; 
He hears the parson pray and preach; 

He hears his daughter's voice, 
Singing in the village choir, 

And it makes his heart rejoice. 


It sounds to him like her mother's voice, 

Singing in paradise! 
He needs must think of her on'ce more, 

How in the grave she lies; 
And with his hard, rough hands, he wipes 

A tear out of his eyes. 

Toiling, rejoicing, sorrowing, 

Onward through life he goes; 
Each morning sees some task begin, 

Each evening sees it close; 
Something attempted, something done, 

Has earned a night* s repose. 

Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend. 

For the lesson thou hast taught! 
Thus at the flaming forge of life 

Our fortunes must be wrought; 
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped 

Each burning deed and thought 

At the end of this poem, as it appeared in the old Fifth 
Grade Reader, the students were asked to center their pic- 
turing power upon the kind of man the village blacksmith 
was, the kind of work he did, and the kind of life he lived. 
The first two stanzas of the poem picture a man of great 
physical strength. Usually weaklings do not stand all day 
before an anvil swinging a heavy sledgehammer. But the 
blacksmith also had moral strength. In our day of forced 
receiverships and mounting debts we might well look with 
envy upon the blacksmith's life of honest toil living within 
his income and looking the whole world in the face, for 
he owed not any man. There are other qualities represented 
in the life of the blacksmith that are not notably characteristic 
of our present age. And occasionally we might turn back 
the calendar and absorb some of these old-fashioned virtues 
practiced by Longfellow's village blacksmith. 

Toil and labor are a very important part of life. But 
there should also be a generous mixture of honor and love. 
Certainly into every life a measure of pathos and trouble 


is likely to find its way. We are inspired by the fact that 
the blacksmith effectively shaped his own character as well as 
those of his children. I like to hear Mr. Longfellow say of 
the blacksmith: 

He goes on Sunday to the Church 

And sits among his boys; 
He hears the parson pray and preach; 

He hears his daughter's voice, 
Singing in the village choir, 

And it makes his heart rejoice. 

It sounds to Him like her mother's voice, 

Singing in paradise! 
He needs must think of her on>ce more, 

How in the grave she lies; 
And with a hard, rough hand, he wipes 

A tear out of his eyes. 

What a joy must have come to the father of these mother- 
less children to be able to sit with them as a family in the 
house of the Lord on the Sabbath Day. His sons were learn- 
ing the lessons of the spirit, and his daughter was worshiping 
God as she sang the songs of her heart in the village choir. 
Naturally then the blacksmith was reminded of her mother 
and the vacancy her death had caused in the family circle. 
How different our psalms of life become when our children 
are not properly taught or do not respond to the teachings 
of righteousness. But regardless of the pathos and heartache 
that comes into our lives, yet the world must go on. And 
we must go on with it. Each day we start afresh on some new 
task that must be done, and in our hearts there lies the hope 
that evening will find us a little closer to the accomplishment 
of one of life's objectives. 

Then in this last great stanza, Mr. Longfellow expresses 
his gratitude to his friend the blacksmith for the lesson of his 
life. He says: 


Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend. 

For the lesson thou hast taught! 
Thus at the flaming forge of life 

Our fortunes must be wrought; 
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped 

Each burning deed and thought. 

And so is life. Each of us is given a forge, an anvil and 
a hammer to fashion his life for good or ill. We are all 
psalmists and everyone is his own blacksmith. 

Of course, Jesus always serves as our most inspiring 
example of every good. His parables are psalms in which 
he pictures the possibilities of our lives in miniature. In 
the story of the prodigal son we see a psalm of life being 
written by an erring prodigal, a forgiving father, and an 
offended older brother. It then becomes our privilege to 
appraise the good points that we may want to include in our 
own lives. We are also alerted to possibilities of wrong that 
must be avoided. And just as Longfellow shows us life 
being lived by the blacksmith, so the Master shows us life 
being lived by the good Samaritan, the sower, and the rich 
man with bulging barns who was poor toward God. Through 
our psalms of life we may borrow the ready-made lessons 
from many lives and then, in the light of these examples 
of good and bad, we are better able to stand before our 
own forge and shape our own lives to their greatest useful- 
ness. And just as the blacksmith fashioned the iron to serve 
the implements of his day, so we write out our psalms, gather 
the raw materials of life and then with the forge of our faith, 
the bellows of enthusiasm, and the hammer of our ambition, 
we beat out upon the anvil of existence to create the desired 
pattern of the most precious of all commodities human life. 

Python Eggs 

is an interesting story coming 
out of India to the effect that in 
that country 50,000 natives are killed annually by pythons. 
These deadly reptiles first coil themselves about their victims 
and then crush out their lives. In the spring of the year, 
as the pythons lay their eggs in the sand and grass, the na- 
tives search out and destroy as many eggs as possible in order 
to reduce the risk that they themselves may later be destroyed 
by the pythons. 

But the people of India are not the only ones who have 
to worry about pythons. In our own country there are many 
times 50,000 people who are constantly engaged in a similar 
life and death struggle. At this very moment we have five 
million alcoholics in the U. S. whose lives are being broken 
by the python coils of their own appetites. Yet no one ever 
deliberately starts out to be a drunkard, just as no one ever 
knowingly puts himself within the reach of a full-grown 
deadly python. This powerful serpent of alcoholism begins 
its career as an egg, laid in the mind of its victim. The first 
indulgence is just one little harmless, friendly, sociable drink, 
often received from the hand of a good friend. There is no 
more reason to fear this innocent little indulgence than there 
is to fear the harmless-looking python egg as it lies there so 
inoffensively warming itself in the sand. 

But whenever we make friends with a wrong idea, 
whether it is large or small, we had better watch our step. 
A seed doesn't need to be large in order to produce a poison 
fruit. Alcohol contains deadly germs that have the ability 
to bring upon the drinker a more painful destruction than 
the tightening coils of the most loathsome python. 


But this is not the extent o our problem; we also expose 
ourselves to the python eggs of ignorance, wrong attitudes, 
and a hundred other sins that are constantly being laid in 
our minds and hearts. Goethe said, "I have in me the germs 
of every crime." That is our natural inheritance; but our 
trouble begins when consciously or unconsciously we begin 
warming these evils into activity. It is not long after we 
offer our friendship to a python egg before we may expect 
to feel the strangling embrace of a loathsome coiling python. 

John Richard Moreland has said: 

It was such a little, little sin 

And such a great big day, 

That I thought the hours would swallow it, 

Or the winds blow it away. 

But the moments passed so swiftly, 
And the wind died out somehow, 
And the sin that was a weakling once 
Is a hungry giant now. 

Appetites, desires, habits and ambitions, like the harm- 
less eggs of the python, should always be judged in terms 
of their future possibilities. Evil gets much of its treachery 
and destructiveness from the fact that its danger is not fully 
discernible to us in the beginning. No one has ever actually 
seen a python grow, and the increasing strength of even 
the most vicious evil is imperceptible to its host. But even 
though the growth of sin is invisible, inaudible and indis- 
cernible, yet we should never put ourselves on a buddy- 
buddy basis with even the smallest evil unless we are ready 
to be taken captive by it. Anyone who trusts a python to 
release him unharmed, once its deadly coils are set, is a little 
more optimistic than past experience seems to justify. Yet 
there are thousands of wonderful people who at this moment 
are wanning into life the very sins that will destroy their 
success and happiness for both here and hereafter. 


Many years ago I had a friend to whom life had prom- 
ised every blessing. After a substantial promotion in his 
business and some other evidences of real success, he made 
his life into a kind of incubator for pythons. He began 
going with the wrong crowd. He started an association 
with nicotine, He began taking some liberties with honor 
and permitting some negative spiritual attitudes to take 
root in his heart. When once the bars were down a few 
python eggs more or less seemed to make little difference 
to him. But soon his bad habits had him on the defensive. 
It became more and more difficult to control or to cover-up 
these writhing, squirming little creatures to whom he was 
giving a free ride. Soon these ugly little traitors had a 
strangle hold on his dependability and were breaking the 
bones of his own self-respect. The marks of the python 
are now plainly visible in his person. His shabby appear- 
ance indicates that he has lost his job. His bloated face, 
bleary eyes and unsteady hand testifies that he is an alco- 
holic. The death of his spirituality foretells the loss of his 
soul. His life is now largely under the control of his reptile 
masters, and he is still feeding the very indulgences that 
have caused his ruin. The dilapidated remains of his former 
manhood shows a continued deterioration, and he is still 
being mauled in that awful snake pit of sin from which he 
is now unable to release himself. 

The brief agony of having one's life crushed out by 
the pythons of India might be considered as a picnic com- 
pared to some of the everlasting torments that we bring upon 
ourselves. But in addition the pythons of India are respon- 
sible for only 50,000 dead per year. One of the most mean- 
ingful lines of the holy scriptures says that, "God cannot 
look upon sin with the least degree of allowance/' Not 
even the smallest sins are ever permitted in God's presence. 
How much heartache, regret and pain we could save our- 
selves if we personally exercised that much foresight and 
good judgment. 


Present-day delinquency and crime owes its flourishing 
condition to the tolerant attitude of those in whose lives 
it is allowed to run rampant. We would be almost scared 
out of our wits to be confronted by a coiling killer python, 
but we are not in the slightest concerned about the few 
harmless eggs of dishonesty and immorality that are laid 
in the warm sands of our everyday lives. 

Frequently we actually seem anxious to promote a few 
of the little personal popular sins, under the disguise of being 
sociable we warm up the little serpents of nicotine in the 
fires of burning tobacco leaves. Or we ask ourselves what 
harm it does to take a few liberties with appetite or fair 
play as long as the stakes are small. We are not particularly 
careful at all times about the kind of friends with whom we 
associate. And, like the chameleon, we develop a different 
color for each environment we enter. Anyway, we don't 
believe in sin or evil in the egg stage. But what we don't 
always realize is that evil can creep up on us without our 
knowing it, and before we are aware these charming little 
pythons of destruction are flexing their muscles to break the 
bones of our better selves, or give us lung cancer or place 
a curse upon our souls. 

It is interesting that inspite of the fact that evil is the 
basic problem in the world, yet almost no one believes in 
it, or can even recognize it in any dangerous proportions in 
himself. Even if we do recognize the evil in ourselves it is 
often pretty difficult to do much about it. Mohandas K. 
Gandhi once said, "There are 999 people who believe in hon- 
esty for every honest man." Everyone believes in honesty 
and yet we remember poor old Diogenes going around Athens 
with a lighted lantern in the middle of the day, trying to find 
just one honest man. We would not believe in tolerating 
the pythons of dishonor except in the egg stage. But as the 
eggs hatch out and the pythons begin to grow, our tolerance 
grows with them and before we are aware, we are entertain- 


ing the full-grown pythons. As Alexander Pope has pointed 

Vice is a monster of so frightful medn, 
As to be hated needs but to be seen; 
Yet seen too oft, familial 1 with her face, 
We first endure, then pity, then embrace, 

In the same way, the little sins of ignorance, indecision, 
inconsistency, disobedience, carelessness and indifference 
soon grow up and become strong enough to take over and 
control our future. 

When someone is a little careless in attending to his 
church responsibilities, he thinks, "What difference does a 
little irregularity make, or what is so bad about being a 
little spasmodic in one's spiritual affairs?" Frequently we 
see no particular reason why we should read good books 
or study the scriptures, or develop strong religious convictions 
in our hearts. But the eggs of vice, spiritual neutrality and 
ignorance are always undergoing a process of incubation and 
growth, and before we are aware these tiny eggs of evil have 
us in serious trouble. 

Upon the cross Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for 
they know not what they do." Even this sin, which was 
history's greatest, was committed without the offenders 
themselves being aware of what was really happening. They 
had merely let the wrong attitudes grow unchecked for so 
long that they no longer could distinguish between truth 
and falsehood. But in the final analysis, almost all of the 
sins of the world are the sins of ignorance. Those who take 
little liberties with their conscience don't know that they 
are developing an evil power in their lives that can carry 
them beyond the point of no return. 

We frequently miss the mark set for us by the Creator 
because we become forgetful of our prayers and unmindful 
of the purpose of our lives. We allow die eggs of spiritual 
inertia, lethargy and sloth to hatch and grow until they 


smother out our devotion to God. Of course, all good is 
not destroyed in the same way. One person relaxes his 
mental discipline and takes the bridle off of his self-control. 
Another insists on his right to be negative or to criticize others. 
One falls in love with his own faults and by a series of 
rationalizations he tries to defend his own wrongs. Without 
knowing what they are doing, many people are poisoning 
their own drinking water. It requires only a drop of typhoid 
in the barrel to make the whole neighborhood sick. The 
germs of evil are also small enough that frequently those 
affected can neither taste, see, smell, hear or feel them. Some 
never discover their presence until wrong has its deadly coils 
about them. Only then do they find that the eggs of sin 
and apostasy have become powerful pythons which are now 
beyond control. 

We should take a leaf out of the book of the natives of 
India and destroy the eggs while we can. We have the awful 
alternative that either we get rid of the eggs, or the pythons 
will get rid of us. We should stamp out our bad habits while 
they are in their infancy. It is easier to dispose of alcoholism 
before the taste is developed or at least while it is in the egg 
stage, than it is to fight the deadly python when it holds us 
in its vice-like grip. Everyone has seen the pitiful struggles 
of some poor alcoholic trying to free himself from the mon- 
strous thing that has fastened itself upon him. Similarly it 
is easier to destroy cynicism, apostasy, ignorance and sloth 
before these ugly traits get their growth. It is also true that 
the helpful seeds of faith and devotion will grow more vig- 
orously if planted before the fertility has all been sucked 
out of the soil by the weeds of evil. 

But how ridiculous it is for us to operate an incubator 
filled with python eggs, and then spend the rest of our lives 
fighting the loathsome coiling, hissing, deadly serpents which 
we have helped to produce. It is a fact that selfishness, greed, 
alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, profanity, dishonesty, immorality 
and irreverence only become real temptations after we our- 


selves Have developed a taste for them. In the same way, 
vacillation, discouragement, procrastination, lethargy, and 
sloth can be given their destructiveness only by the victim 
that they have marked for elimination. Once our pythons 
have been given strength we must then fight them for every 
inch of our future progress. They then strike us at every 
turn, and attack us from every ambush. 

A drunkard sometimes gets a case of delirium tremens. 
Then snakes get into his imagination and play havoc with 
his success. Real snakes are seldom as dangerous as these 
imaginary snakes that set hostile influences in motion to 
destroy our success. 

Idleness or the lack of a purposeful design in life pro- 
vides excellent breeding sands for pythons, and it is pretty 
difficult to clean out the reptiles from our minds as long 
as those minds are lying idle and unused. And where we 
allow ourselves to vacillate between distractions, we no sooner 
get one problem out of the way than another takes its place. 
Some people are always upset or disturbed about something. 
The negative opinions expressed by others tend to destroy 
our convictions. And we can easily become carriers of sins 
and weakness when we allow ourselves to pick up the germs 
of indecision, confusion, doubt and discouragement that are 
being spread by others. 

Our eyes must not be too tolerant of sin or our ears too 
untrained in rejecting evil or our hearts too unable to dis- 
tinguish right from wrong. 

How unprofitable it is to become breeders of our own 
failure and unhappiness by offering a nesting place to the 
eggs of indifference, sloth, confusion, doubt, discouragement 
and sin, for as the pythons gather strength they will break 
the bones of our character and crush out our eternal life. 
Our most profitable opportunity is to search out and destroy 
the eggs of every evil and then house clean our lives of those 
little wriggling treacherous pythons that hold such indisput- 
able promise of being big snakes some day. 

Quo Vadis 

E extreme persecution to which 
the early Christians were sub- 
jected often made their lives very difficult. We might well 
imagine that some severe pressures occasionally weakened 
their determination to do their duty. There is an interesting 
illustration of this idea in an old legend concerning the Apostle 
Peter. After he had labored for a time in Rome, his enemies 
there decreed his death. In order to save his life, Peter 
decided to flee from Rome and find some other field of labor 
involving less hazard. The legend has it that as he fled from 
his threatened martyrdom, the resurrected Christ appeared 
to him on the Appian Way. Peter said to Jesus, "Quo Vadis," 
which means, "Where goest thou?" Then Christ replied, "I 
am going to Rome to be crucified again/* Peter felt the 
Lord's rebuke and it stirred his soul with new courage. Peter 
turned around and resolutely returned to Rome fully deter- 
mined to do his duty no matter what the consequences might 
be. Later, when he was finally sentenced to death by cruci- 
fixion it is said that he asked only one favor of his executioners 
and that was that he might be crucified with his head down- 
ward, inasmuch as he considered himself unworthy to end 
his mortal life in the same manner as his Master. 

This is an interesting example of how one person's great 
qualities may be reinforced and strengthened as they respond 
to those same qualities felt in someone else. Jesus had pre- 
viously set Peter a good example in courage when years 
before he had met his death with extreme heroism. Jesus 
had made no attempt to run away. There had been no 
evasion or excuses. He did not take a single backward step 
or recant a single doctrine or contradict a single word. And 
one of his most thrilling qualities was that never once did he 

Quo VAJMS 253 

waver in doing his duty. That unwavering determination was 
the kind of strength that Peter needed most. That day on 
the Appian Way, Peter must have entertained some contrasts 
as his mind went back to the trial of Jesus. In the palace of 
Caiaphas the High Priest, Peter had lacked the courage to 
admit to the servant girl that he was even a friend of Jesus. 
And during the Master's most severe afflictions Peter had 
denied him three times. Jesus had sadly quoted the scrip- 
ture saying, "I will smite the shepherd and the sheep will be 
scattered." Jesus had gone to his death comparatively alone 
because of a lack of courage in his followers. Peter had 
been strengthened by this experience but not enough, and 
even now, years later, as he stood facing Jesus on the Appian 
Way, he still found himself in the act of fearfully running 
away because his own safety was threatened. 

Peter had accepted a prominent place in a cause that 
was far bigger than he was, and he knew that the great issues 
involved should come ahead of mere personal considerations. 
Peter knew of the divine birth of Jesus. He knew of his 
literal bodily resurrection. He knew the facts surrounding 
his ascension into heaven. Early in their association, Peter 
had borne testimony of the divinity of Jesus, saying, "Thou 
art the Christ, the Son of the living God." In the light of 
this testimony, why was he now running away? This was 
not the first time he had received strength from his contact 
with Jesus, but a great power now possessed his soul as he 
thought of the words of the Master. And while it was Peter 
who had asked the question, "Where goest thou?" it was 
also Peter who must give the answer as to what his future 
course would be. That answer was not long in coming, and 
once his mind was set, nothing could thwart its purpose. It 
was for this firmness of soul that we remember this great 
apostle as Cephas the Rock, the Stalwart, the chief mortal 
support of the Savior of the world. 

This simple question which Peter asked and answered 
had a determining influence upon his life. What a happy 


circumstance it would be if all of us could use Peter's ques- 
tion as effectively in our own interests. For example, suppose 
that as Judas left his associates in the upper room contemplat- 
ing the Lord's betrayal, he had stopped long enough to say to 
himself, "Judas, where goest thou? Where will this course 
lead you? If your evil succeeds, what will be the effect 
upon the Church, your family, your friends, and upon the 
Master himself?" Judas must have thought about the fact 
that he had also been chosen as an Apostle of the Lord. A 
little mature thought would have reminded him that thirty 
pieces of silver was a very inadequate reward for the deed 
he contemplated. It is possible that a thoughtful considera- 
tion of Peter's question would have turned him back from his 
evil. It is interesting to remember that as soon as the con- 
sciousness of what he had done broke in upon Judas, he 
was seized by a remorse so severe that he went out and 
hanged himself. The tragedy was that this thoughtfulness 
came after his evil rather than before it. Because of this 
error in timing, the once proud name of Judas is now men- 
tioned only to denote the most extreme unfaithfulness, dis- 
loyalty and betrayal. But most of our timers are also a little 
off. Certainly this habitual lack of advance consideration 
for important problems is one of the most common causes 
of our own difficulties. 

We have a common expression where someone asks, 
"Where are you headed?" And while that is not quite as 
high-sounding as the Latin words "Quo Vadis," yet in any 
form it is an important question, and we should use it more 
often with specific reference to ourselves, and we should be 
sure that we get the right answer before we let the question 
go. Most thoughts or acts or ambitions are not as important 
for themselves alone as for where they will lead us. 

Certainly the prospective alcoholic would never take that 
first little friendly sociable drink if he knew where it would 
take hirp or what the effect would be upon himself, his job, 
his family and his friends. Before anyone takes a drink he 

Quo VADIS 255 

should ask himself, "Where will it take me?" It is thought 
that this interesting question might be a pretty good one for 
everyone to keep on hand, and always have available for 
immediate use. 

Some time ago I talked with a fine young girl who had 
just turned eighteen. She had decided that she was old 
enough to run her own life without counsel from anyone. 
She thought that if she wanted to go with questionable 
friends and do wrong things, that was pretty much her own 
business. She could see no real need for her parents at 
her time of life. What she did not understand was that it 
is pretty easy for both old and young to make mistakes. The 
adventure of life is very complicated, primarily because we 
don't see in advance where events are leading us. We need 
the counsel of experience that can see through our blind spots 
and identify our personal hazards with clearer perspective. 
Because of the love this girl's parents had for her, and because 
of the touch of perverseness in her attitude they were afraid 
of driving her farther away from them by too much oppo- 
sition to her plans. But the freedom and love that can exist 
between parents and children can sometimes be lost. 

This young woman has many personal blind spots, but 
so did Peter and so did Judas, and so do we all. If these 
blind spots are given too much freedom of action, difficulties 
result. And it is not an easy thing to untangle the webs of 
sin and mistakes once they have been woven. Even after 
Judas was fully aware of what he had done, he was not strong 
enough to go back and try to undo his wrong. That is also 
one of our problems. It is very difficult for an alcoholic or 
a willful child or a thoughtless adult to turn back. 

The decision of Judas to commit suicide probably seemed 
a more simple solution to him than to start over. The evil 
of Judas may have taken no longer than an hour to commit, 
yet forever more his life will carry the dreadful marks of a 
betrayer. But we can also brand ourselves just as quickly 


and just as definitely. In addition, when we get into unfa- 
vorable situations it is so easy for our thinking to be distorted. 
We sometimes forget who our real friends are, and we stamp 
our souls with the marks of sin before we fully realize what 
we are doing. The evil that gets power over us is so small 
to begin with that it incites no fear in us, and consequently 
we take no measures to protect ourselves until we have passed 
what we think is the point of no return. All of these unpleas- 
ant possibilities make these two little Latin words very im- 

At the height of her career the fiance of Lillian Roth 
died, and a deep sorrow overwhelmed the life of this famous 
actress. For weeks she was so distraught mentally and emo- 
tionally that she got very little rest or peace of mind. Then 
one night her nurse suggested that she drink a glass of brandy 
before going to bed. That night she got her first good night's 
rest in weeks. Because of its pleasant effect she drank more 
brandy the next night and the next and the next. It was finally 
suggested that maybe she was going too far, but she felt 
perfectly capable of handling herself under any and all cir- 
cumstances. But in the next few years she was married and 
divorced several times. She lost her large fortune, her repu- 
tation, her friends, and almost every other worth-while thing 
in life, and finally she was confined in an institution for 
alcoholics against her will. All of this trouble came about 
because she couldn't see where one little glass of brandy 
would take her. 

Every bad habit and every good habit and every idea and 
every ambition has a destination stamped upon it, and it is 
very important that we should know where we are going to 
end up before we get started. Charles F. Kettering said, 
"My interest is in the future because I am going to spend 
the rest of my life there/' That is where the primary interest 
of everyone should be. We are all going to spend the over- 
whelming part of our lives in the future, and before we get 

Quo VABIS 257 

too chummy with anything, we should make every effort to 
learn as much as possible about its future or lack of it. The 
chief factor about anything, is its destination. Jesus said 
we should live by every word that proceedeth out of the 
mouth of God. That is so because the word of the Lord 
has the greatest future, and like everything else, the most 
important thing about the gospel of Christ is where it leads 
us to. This is what most people do not understand. When 
Peter decided to run away from his duty, he was headed in 
the same general direction as the betrayer or the alcoholic 
or the disobedient, and the ultimate end of such a journey is 
always unhappiness. The thing that saved the day for Peter 
was that he discovered his error in time and turned back. 

Suppose that when things began to get difficult that 
the Master himself had run away. Is it any wiser for us 
to follow a wrong program, or to start on a course which has 
no future or where our possibilities of success are drastically 
reduced? More than about anything else we need to get a 
strong focus on a goal with a future and then never take 
our eyes away from it. The successful mariner strives toward 
his destiny with his eyes on the North Star. God our Eternal 
Father has set up the Celestial Kingdom as the North Star of 
our accomplishment. Celestial glory is the glory in which 
God himself dwells. That is where the highest of all stand- 
ards of living is found. That is also the place of the highest 
standards of thinking and the highest standards of love, and 
the highest standards of happiness. The greatest of all the 
gifts of God is eternal life. Because eternity lies beyond 
our known experience, and we cannot fully comprehend it, 
we frequently occupy our minds with the wrong things and 
often find ourselves on the broad way that leads to destruc- 
tion, or we run away from our duty and lose our greatest 
opportunities. The safest program for keeping ourselves 
on the right course is to keep our lives in harmony with our 
Redeemer. Every time Peter came in contact with Jesus he 
was made stronger. The same contact will have the same 


effect upon us. I like to think of Peter as he stood undecided 
on the Appian Way vitalizing his life by the use of those two 
interesting Latin words, "Quo Vadis." They can also be 
valuable to us if we frequently ask ourselves, "Whither goest 
thou?" and then make sure that we require ourselves to give 
a thoughtful, logical, inspired answer. 

The Rebel 

C OMETIME ago a psychiatrist wrote a 
^ book entitled, A Rebel Without a 

Cause. In it he points out that while trying to get along with 
ourselves and the universe in which we live, we separate our- 
selves into groups. That is, a natural sorting process is always 
taking place, branding and tagging us according to how we 
respond to life. Then life place us in the particular pigeon- 
hole occupied by those whose characteristics correspond to 
our kind of behavior. 

One of these general classifications is made up of people 
having serious mental and emotional difficulties. The number 
of those afflicted with this particular malady has been rapidly 
increasing in recent years, as indicated by the tremendous 
upswing in the number of calls made for psychiatric help. 
There is no one name that adequately describes these prob- 
lems, but the author refers to the general defect as psycho- 
pathic personality. Of course, psychopathy is much more 
than^ a mere pigeonhole. It more resembles a kind of Pan- 
dora's Box filled to the brim with the makings of all kinds 
of malignant, social, political, and religious scourges. 

The author compares a psychopath to Johnstone's rogue 
elephant which was fittingly described as a rebel. He says 
that a rebel is a religious disobeyer of prevailing codes and 
standards. And the author says that his own clinical ex- 
perience indicates that one with a psychopathic personality 
can best be described as a "rebel without a cause." He is 
an agitator without a slogan, a revolutionary without a pro- 
gram. He is a fighter with nothing to fight for and no victory 
to look forward to. Rebelliousness is usually aimed at achiev- 
ing goals that are primarily satisfactory only to oneself. The 
author says that this group of people are incapable of exertion 


for the sake of others. While their efforts are usually hidden 
under some protecting guise, yet in spite of the camouflage 
their investment is designed only to satisfy their own imme- 
diate desires. 

This urge for immediate personal satisfaction is distinctly 
an infantile characteristic. Unlike properly matured adults, 
the child cannot wait upon suitable circumstances for the ful- 
fillment of his needs. The adult is able to postpone his lunch- 
eon for a few hours if occasion requires, but the infant cries 
and takes other aggressive measures to get immediate satis- 
faction for his need. Those who are psychopathic also make 
their wants known by various types of immature agitation 
designed to bring about an immediate fulfillment of their 
wants. For example, the psychopath is usually unwilling 
to delay the gratification of his sex impulses or other bodily 
urges. As these urges make themselves felt, a morally im- 
mature person both ignores reason and violates convention 
and morality. From this group of rebels come the sex de- 
viates who rape, murder and corrupt. 

Of course, rebelliousness may manifest itself in one of 
many forms. When a mature person wants property, prestige, 
or social acceptance, he uses education, planning, industry, 
time and proper conduct to fulfill his needs in an acceptable 
way. But the socially immature cannot wait. They try 
to gratify their needs by deception, theft, and other unap- 
proved means. Because the immature are generally not 
willing to spend the time required in preparation and indus- 
try to achieve their goals, they drop their education and other 
means of permanent self -improvement so that they can con- 
centrate on their immediate desires. They begin to smoke, 
drink, etc., to give themselves the feeling of being adult before 
their time. The great burden placed upon our society by the 
scourge of teenage marriages is because those involved can't 
wait until they are properly qualified for marriage. Every- 
thing must give way before their impulses. 


When fettered with this damaging personality defect 
some people seem completely unable to avail themselves of 
the restraining safeguards of normal living, and they soon 
find themselves in the pigeonhole labeled "rebellion." In 
this spirit children frequently think of running away from 
home or in other ways stage a revolt against their parents. 
The reform schools and the jails are filled with people who 
rebel against the various kinds of legal authority and civil 
restraint. This trait has helped our great free land of America 
to become world-renowned as the theatre of crime, vice, out- 
lawry, drunkenness and other forms of psychopathy. 

The dictionary says that psychopathy is a mental dis- 
order, that while it doesn't quite reach the proportions of 
outright insanity, yet it causes serious personality defects. 
We help to develop this emotional instability in ourselves 
by permitting ourselves too much of the luxury of imma- 
turity, disobedience, and just plain perversity. These wrongs 
then bring upon us all kinds of complexes, feelings of inade- 
quacy and a warped and undependable mentality. We 
strengthen this near-insanity when we tolerate an undue 
amount of conceit, lack of common sense, a disinclination 
for self-analysis, a low grade of self-control, a lack of truth- 
fulness, or too great a measure of spiritual irresponsibility. 
Of course, all psychopathic individuals have these bother- 
some traits in different combinations, and no one remedy 
covers them all. 

A psychiatrist was recently discussing this "rebel with- 
out a cause" concept, illustrating his points with the experi- 
ences of his patients. He was asked how anyone not actually 
insane could be allowed by his reason to do these things. 
The doctor replied that the reason of the patient was not 
involved. He pointed out that if we would use our reason 
or if we had a properly trained sense of right and wrong, 
there would be very few problems. So many people react 
merely to themselves or to their immediate circumstances, 
with no attempt to be logical or to follow sound principles, 


or even to be aware of consequences. But one cannot ignore 
reason and right and long retain a proper mental balance. 
When one regards only his own selfish interests and becomes 
too much of a rebel, he turns back his maturity to a point 
where these psychopathic tendencies begin to show up. We 
pity the backward nations that waste their property and their 
lives in continual political rebellions. But there are even 
more destructive kinds of rebellion going on in individuals. 
I know of a young man who rebelled against his father and 
mother because they are poor, this in spite of their unques- 
tioned devotion and their success in putting him through 
school, etc. 

On the other hand, I know of a young woman who 
rebelled against her prominent well-to-do parents for exactly 
the opposite reasons. Her parents have worked hard and 
finally overcame their unfavorable financial situation. In 
the process they have won many honors and have tried to 
get their children to follow in their footsteps. The advantages 
won by the parents have been lavished upon the daughter, 
but she balks at every step. She resents being identified with 
the success of her parents. She feels that she can have no 
real personal recognition as long as anyone else is in the pic- 
ture, and yet she is presently incapable of bringing about 
the success she seeks. Instead of cooperation and a willing- 
ness to take the time necessary to show people her worth 
and superiority., she has rebelled against her parents and 
everything connected with their success, including their re- 
ligious faith. With too much thinking about herself, she 
has become a rebel without a cause. 

This is a part of an attitude expressed by the man who 
said, "I am for the underdog." His friend said, "I am also 
for the underdog, providing the underdog is right but sup- 
pose the underdog is wrong?" His friend said, "I am for the 
underdog whether he is right or wrong/* This is the kind 
of rebellion that sets some people against the law in favor 
of criminals. It sets others against good in favor of evil. 


It is said that a son of Abraham Lincoln rebelled against 
the homespun appearance of his father, while he himself 
became something of a fashion plate. Some also rebel against 
the old-fashioned honesty and virtue for which their fathers 
are noted, and they bring upon themselves a great many 
problems as a consequence. 

For no good reason rebellion often turns people against 
righteousness to a life of sin. This was one of the problems 
of King Saul, and the Lord said to him: "For rebellion is as 
the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and 
idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, 
he hath also rejected thee from being king." ( I Samuel 15:23 ) 
Rebellion turns others against truth in favor of error. Some- 
times when someone that we dislike is connected with a 
worthy cause, we turn against the cause to avoid being iden- 
tified with the one we dislike. 

This dangerous personality defect sometimes even sets 
us against God himself. We never deny God because he is 
wrong, but always because we are wrong. We never rebel 
against the work of the Lord in favor of something better; 
we rebel against the work of the Lord because we are rebels. 
When righteousness is against a rebel, the rebel always turns 
against righteousness. Jesus probably has had more enemies 
than anyone who ever lived, and yet he lived a perfect life. 
He took upon himself our sins and suffered for our trans- 
gressions, and gave up his life to bring about our happiness. 
I recently heard one poor unfortunate giving his reasons why 
he thought God was "unfair." It was pathetic in its tragedy, 
yet it is so common to become a "rebel" against God without 
a cause. Sin, disobedience, sloth, or a wasted life are all 
forms of rebellion. Certainly these traits are not noteworthy 
objectives to build into the only life that we will ever have 
upon this earth. 

Lucifer was the original and most destructive rebel. In 
the council of heaven he turned against everything good, 
including God, free agency, and even the righteous principles 


ordained by the Father for his own good. He not only op- 
posed God, but he also opposed two-thirds of the hosts of 
heaven, and through his rebellion he led away one-third of 
all of that congregation to their eternal damnation. Even yet, 
Satan continues in his rebellion and he will continue until his 
final banishment. 

But on a smaller scale many of us live lives of rebellion., 
and rebellion so often ends eventually with the destruction 
of the rebel. The right kind of loyalty in the heart of Lin- 
coln's son would have made him love the unquestioned 
honesty and homespun virtues of his great father. Then 
he would have built these wonderful qualities into himself. 
What could be worse than to rebel against God and to love 
evil rather than good? When we feel even a little rebellion 
getting into our hearts, we should take warning that we are 
treading on dangerous ground. A turn toward repentance 
is the adult and godly way to solve most of our problems, 
including those of rebellion. We should free ourselves from 
the immaturity, disobedience, indifference, perversity and 
other sins that lead us to do great wrong and make us trans- 
gressors before God. The word transgression itself means 
to go contrary to, or to violate, or to rebel. 

No one is perfect, but instead of rebelling against honor- 
able parents, we should try to correct any mistakes they may 
have made so far as our lives are concerned. Nothing would 
please them more than to have us excel them in honor, as 
with the Roman matron, Cornelia, who frequently upbraided 
her son that men still referred to her as the daughter of Scipio 
rather than the mother of Tiberius, And rather than rebelling 
against God we should honor him with our devotion. For 
any way we look at it, "the way of the transgressor is hard" 
and one of the transgressions that makes our lives hardest 
is the sin of rebellion. We make it easy to rebel against 
honor and righteous principles when we are not manifesting 
these principles wholeheartedly in our lives. Lucifer would 


not have debauched one-third of the hosts of heaven if he 
had been on his knees worshiping God. 

So many of us are rebels in one thing or another, and 
when one of the objects of our rebellion is removed, another 
can be easily found. When once this dread defect is devel- 
oped, it is difficult to control. The rebellion developed by 
the young woman against her parent's will probably be re- 
directed at a later date against her husband. The rebellion 
that we develop against our work is often redirected against 
life generally. The rebellion we feel against our simple 
duty may soon be transferred to rebellion against God him- 
self. We must not rebel merely because life tries to dis- 
cipline us. When God tries to lead us to eternal glory, we 
should not condemn ourselves to hell by a rebellion out of 

What a thrill it ought to be for us to be loyal to our 
Father in heaven! What a privilege it ought to be for us 
to be loyal to truth and righteousness! What a tremendous 
opportunity to close up our Pandora's Box of rebellion by 
the simple process of growing up spiritually, mentally, emo- 
tionally, all of which can be done by the development of our 
reason and strict obedience to the word of the Lord! We 
can avoid untold misery in this life and eternal damnation in 
the next by destroying the awful seeds of rebellion that may 
be growing in our hearts and establishing therein an absolute 
loyalty to the God who created us. 

Regulus, the Roman 

ONE OF the important purposes of life 
is to develop our God-given abili- 
ties. We can learn many things from many sources. Books 
have much to teach us. The school and the church can make 
a great contribution to our success. Our own thought proc- 
esses and the periods given to meditation greatly enlarge our 
outlook on life. Jesus became the greatest of all teachers by 
applying the truths he learned from the lilies of the field, 
the sower, the prodigal son, and the good Samaritan. 

But probably one of the most productive sources of 
learning is other people. When Charles Kingsley was asked 
the secret of his radiant, useful life, he replied, "I had a 
friend." But we can also learn from our enemies. We can 
learn something from everyone and everything. Today 
marks the anniversary of the end of a devastating world 
war, but even the most hard and cruel experiences may be 
made to add to our strength. Warriors have a particularly 
important contribution to make to our success. We may 
borrow their great determination, their unyielding courage 
and their heroic devotion. When once developed, these 
traits can serve any part of our success. 

For example, think how much we owe Nathan Hale, 
when prior to forfeiting his life before an enemy firing squad 
he said, "I regret that I have but one life to give for my coun- 
try." Joan of Arc made an immeasurable contribution to 
thousands of people by choosing to be burned alive rather 
than deny what she believed. 

And one of the qualities that we need most in order 
to solve our present-day problems is the unwavering courage 
of our convictions. We see this type of courage most highly 
developed on the battlefield. Sometimes it takes extreme 


situations to build within us that magnificent ability to stand 
for what we believe against all odds. It is more difficult 
to develop this trait when surrounded by the soft living and 
careless effort of unimportant situations. Our biggest prob- 
lem may come in developing sufficient courage to meet our 
ordinary situations. Without courage we sometimes cringe 
and crawl and vacillate before every opposition or go down 
in defeat before even minor contrary influences. Some people 
are perfectly loyal to their country when all conditions are 
favorable, but they can be easily brainwashed to become the 
tools of evil in the hands of an enemy. 

This want for moral strength is sometimes even more 
obvious in our personal and religious lives. Many individ- 
uals have become profane, immoral, alcoholic, or dishonest 
merely because they could not withstand the pressure of 
opposing influences. A little ridicule, a few uncomplimen- 
tary remarks, the offer of a personal advantage, or a threat 
of danger, has caused many people to lose their convictions 
or renounce their faith, or betray their country, or even to 
deny God. There are among us many small-scale Benedict 
Arnolds, many unknown Judas Iscariots, political quislings 
and personal cowards who have been turned to wrong by 
a little unfavorable pressure. Unfortunately all of us do not 
have the courage of Nathan Hale or Joan of Arc. But for- 
tunately everyone can develop sufficient strength to solve his 
every problem. And one of the best ways to do this is to 
always keep courage in our minds by re-living the heroic 
deeds of others. 

Many years ago I was greatly impressed with a reading 
lesson by Elijah Kellogg in an old eighth grade text. This 
stimulating material was entitled, "The Return of Regulus." 
The story of Regulus, as told by Roman writers and poets, 
is familiar to all who have read the history of the long, fierce 
struggles between the ancient cities of Rome and Carthage. 
For nine years a bitter war had been waged between these 
two rivals for world power. Then the Roman consuls, Regu- 


lus and Manlius, were sent with a large fleet, and a land 
army of a hundred forty thousand men against the hated 
Carthaginians. The new Roman fleet was at once victorious 
against the larger fleet of the enemy. Under Regulus, the 
land forces gained many victories. Finally Xanthippus, a 
Spartan general, taught the Carthaginians to fight with ele- 
phants and bands of cavalry in the open plain. The result 
was, the Roman army was destroyed and Regulus was taken 

After five years imprisonment, a decided Roman victory 
forced Carthage to sue for peace, and the Carthaginians sent 
Regulus to Rome with their envoys to arrange the terms. 
Regulus at first refused to enter Rome, since he was no longer 
free. After this conscientious scruple was overcome, he re- 
fused to give his opinion in the senate until commanded by 
Rome to do so. Then Professor Botsford, in his "History of 
the Ancient World/' tells us that 

"When Regulus was finally persuaded to address the 
senate, he advised that body not to make peace nor to ransom 
the captives, but to let them die in the land where they had 
disgraced themselves by surrender. Thus they would serve 
as an example to others; he himself would return and share 
their fate. In vain the senators remonstrated against this 
decision. While departing from Rome he kept his eyes fixed 
on the ground that he might not see his wife and children. 
Then, returning to Carthage in accordance with his oath, 
he is said to have suffered death by torture/' 

The common story is that he was put into a cask pierced 
with nails, the points of which projected inward, and that he 
was rolled down a hill inside the cask until he expired. 

The story of Regulus gives a stimulating interpretation 
of the sentiments that can dominate the heart of a great 
soldier and patriot. Professor Botsford says: 

"Here is presented the picture of a man who was abso- 
lutely faithful to his plighted word, of a stern patriot ready 


to sacrifice himself and his fellow captives for what he be- 
lieved to be his country's good, of a strong-willed man who 
knew his fate and walked resolutely to meet it." 

Then Mr, Kellogg tells his story as follows: 

"The beams of the rising sun had gilded the lofty domes 
of Carthage, and given, with its rich and mellow light, a 
tinge of beauty even to the frowning ramparts of the outer 
harbor. Sheltered by the verdant shores, a hundred triremes 
were riding proudly at their anchors, their brazen beaks glit- 
tering in the sun, their streamers dancing in the morning 
breeze, while many a shattered plank and timber gave evi- 
dence of the desperate conflict with the fleets of Rome. 

"No murmur of business or of revelry arose from the 
city. The artisan had forsaken his shop, the judge his tri- 
bunal, the priest his sanctuary, and even the stern stoic had 
come forth from his retirement to mingle with the crowd 
that, anxious and agitated, were rushing toward the senate 
house, startled by the report that Regulus had returned to 

"Onward, still onward, trampling each other under foot, 
they rushed, furious with anger, and eager for revenge. 
Fathers were there, whose sons were groaning in fetters; 
maidens, whose lovers, weak and wounded, were dying in 
the dungeons of Rome, and there were other thousands of 
gray-haired men and matrons, whom the Roman sword had 
left childless. 

"But when the stern features of Regulus were seen, and 
his colossal form towering above the ambassadors who had 
returned with him from Rome; when the news passed from 
lip to lip that the dreaded warrior, so far from advising the 
Roman senate to consent to an exchange of prisoners, had 
urged them to pursue, with exterminating vengeance, Car- 
thage and Carthaginians, the multitude swayed to and fro 
like a forest beneath a tempest, and the rage and hate of that 
tumultuous throng vented itself in groans, and curses, and 
veils of vengeance. 


"But calm, cold and immovable as the marble walls 
around him stood the Roman; and he stretched forth his hand 
over that frenzied crowd, with gesture as proudly command- 
ing as though he still stood at the head of the gleaming cohorts 
of Rome. The tumult ceased; the curse, half -muttered, died 
upon the lip; and so intense was the silence, that the clanking 
of the brazen manacles upon the wrists of the captive fell 
sharp and full upon every ear in that vast assembly, as he 
thus addressed them: 

" 'Ye doubtless thought for ye judge of Roman virtue 
by your own that I would break my plighted oath, rather 
than, returning, brook your vengeance. I might give reasons 
for this, in Punic comprehension, most foolish act of mine. 
I might speak of those eternal principles which make death 
for one's country a pleasure, not a pain. But, by great Jupiter! 
methinks I should debase myself to talk of such high things 
to you; to you, expert in womanly inventions; to you, well 
skilled to drive a treacherous trade with simple Africans for 
ivory and gold. 

" If the bright red blood that courses through my veins, 
transmitted free from godlike ancestry, were like that slimy 
ooze which stagnates in your arteries, I had remained at 
home, broken my plighted oath to save my life. I am a 
Roman citizen; therefore have I returned, that ye might work 
your will upon this mass of flesh and bones, that I esteem 
no higher than the rags that cover them. 

" "Here, in your capital, do I defy you. Have I not con- 
quered your armies, fired your towns, and dragged your 
generals at my chariot wheels, since first my youthful arm 
could wield a spear? And do you think to see me crouch 
and cower before a tamed and shattered senate? The tear- 
ing of flesh and the rending of sinews is but pastime compared 
to the mental agony that heaves my frame. 

" 'The moon has scarce yet waned since the proudest of 
Rome's proud matrons, the mother upon whose breast I slept, 
and whose fair brow so oft had bent over me before the noise 


of battle had stirred my blood, or the fierce toil of war nerved 
my sinews, did, with fondest memory of bygone hours, en- 
treat me to remain. I have seen her, who, when my country 
called me to the field, did buckle on my harness with trem- 
bling hands, while the tears fell thick and fast down the hard 
corselet scales I have seen her tear her gray locks and beat 
her aged breast, as on her knees she begged me not to return 
to Carthage! and all the assembled senate of Rome., grave 
and reverend men, proffered the same request. The puny 
torments which ye have in store to welcome me withal, shall 
be, to what I have endured, even as the murmur of a sum- 
mer's brook to the fierce roar of angry surges on a rocky 

" 'Last night, as I lay fettered in my dungeon, I heard a 
strange, ominous sound; it seemed like the distant march of 
some vast army, their harness clanging as they marched, when 
suddenly there stood by me Xanthippus, the Spartan general, 
by whose aid you conquered me, and, with a voice as low 
as when the solemn wind moans through the leafless forest, 
he thus addressed me: 

"Roman, I come to bid thee curse, with thy dying 
breath, this fated city; know that in an evil hour, the Car- 
thaginian generals, furious with rage that I had conquered 
thee, their conqueror, did basely murder me. And then 
they thought to stain my brightest honor. But, for this foul 
deed, the wrath of Jove shall rest upon them here and here- 
after." And then he vanished. 

" "And now, go bring your sharpest torments, the woes 
I see impending over this guilty realm shall be enough to 
sweeten death, though every nerve and artery were a shoot- 
ing pang. I die! but my death shall prove a proud triumph; 
and, for every drop of blood ye from my veins do draw, your 
own shall flow in rivers. 

" 'Woe to thee, Carthage! Woe to thee proud city of the 
waters! I see thy nobles wailing at the feet of Roman sena- 


tors! thy citizens in terror! thy ships in flames! I hear the 
victorious shouts of Rome! I see her eagles glittering on thy 
ramparts. Proud city, thou art doomed. The curse of God 
is on thee a clinging, wasting curse, which shall not leave 
thy gates till hungry flames shall lick the fretted gold from 
off thy proud palaces, and every brook runs crimson to the 
sea/ " 

This scene of hate and revenge does not make a pretty 
picture, yet the absolute loyalty to a trust, the ability that 
it displays to be faithful to one's convictions no matter what 
the consequence, is one of the greatest of all human character 
qualities. This is especially true in our day when we so 
badly need the courage to stand against evil and untruth. 
William James once said that we need a moral equivalent 
of war if we are to develop sufficient courage for our lives. 
This is one of the traits that has always characterized the great 
prophets, many of whom have also suffered a tortuous death 
rather than to be unfaithful to the trust that God had imposed 
in them. And while our total responsibility may be something 
less than the prophets, yet the importance of being true to 
our faith is not less. In life, as in battle, it is just as important 
for the sergeant to be faithful as it is for the general. No 
army would get very far where only the general could be 
depended upon. And no country will ever be great where 
the individual citizen feels free to accept bribes or be untrue, 
or sell his country to serve his own interests. 

Regulus said, "I am a Roman citizen." To him those 
words stood for something far greater than himself. But we 
are children of God, destined to become like him, and above 
everything else we must be good soldiers with the courage 
of our convictions and an unfaltering determination never 
to betray his confidence. 


A A ANY years ago Dr. Henry C. Link 
' V wrote a very interesting book 
under the title T/ie Return to Religion. The first chapter 
deals with his own religious experience. Dr. Link grew up 
in a religious household and received some good religious 
instruction. But as he climbed the educational ladder he 
began discarding his religious convictions in favor of what 
he considered a more intellectual approach to life's problems. 
And with a Phi Beta Kappa key in his possession he came to 
scorn what he considered the petty practices of the church. 
He believed that religion was a refuge for weak minds. He 
built up his arguments against Christian doctrine until he 
became what he himself described as a complete and power- 
fully fortified agnostic. 

His wife was something of an intellectual in her own 
right and fully shared his views of religion. They agreed 
that instead of sending their own children to church, they 
would let them settle their religious questions for themselves 
when they were old enough to know what it was all about. 

Dr. Link became a famous psychologist at an early age. 
In recognition of the many contributions in his field, his 
name was included in Men of Science, the roster of America's 
foremost scientists, when he was only 32. In his capacity 
as the Director of the Psychological Service Center of New 
York City, his job was to help people solve their many difficult 

But working in actual contact with, personal difficulties, 
Dr. Link soon discovered that the best solution for almost 
all problems was to be found in the acceptance and practice 
of the religion of Christ, as outlined in the Holy Scriptures. 


That is, a happy marriage can be most effectively built upon 
a foundation of real religion; and the problems arising in every 
other department of life are answered in about the same way. 
Whether one is seeking occupational success, economic se- 
curity or social satisfactions, his goal can best be attained by 
putting the principles of the gospel into actual operation in 
his life. 

Dr. Link and his associates gave psychological tests to 
thousands of people, and in almost all cases the needed ther- 
apy called for the practice of some basic fundamental religious 
principle. It was found that those whose lives were actuated 
by religious motives had better social and physical health 
and significantly better personalities. They were not only 
happier and more successful, but they were superior in almost 
every other way. 

Dr. Link's discoveries were particularly impressive in 
the field of child training. It was found that those children 
who grew up without church teaching never acquired the 
strong sense of right and wrong possessed by their religiously 
trained parents, even though the parents left the church after 
the training had been received. 

Referring to his own early experience, Dr. Link said, 
"We were taught that certain things were right or wrong 
because God said so. But we could only tell our children 
that things were right or wrong because we said so. This 
does not build the same kind of personality strength. With- 
out the pressure of religious training in actual Christian doc- 
trine, children do not acquire the basic moral values in life 
which the parent accepts automatically even though he no 
longer credits the divine origin of the teaching itself. The 
parents who destroy the authority of God in the minds of their 
children set themselves an impossible task as they themselves 
must then take over the responsibility. 

"Then as the child grows older he comes more and more 
under the influence of the conflicting authorities of society, 


the school, the neighbors, the gang, and the community. 
When the child finds that his own parents are vacillating, 
uncertain and in frequent error, his defenses are destroyed 
and he has little left to cling to or believe in. It is pretty 
difficult for any parent to replace God as an authority on 
right and wrong." 

Dr. Link quotes a striking line from one of Ibsen's plays 
in which a leading character exclaims, "Without a fixed point 
outside myself, I cannot exist/* In this world of changes 
and rebellion against authority, God is our only fixed point. 
He is the unchanging North Star of our universe. The child 
who early in life accepts God as the supreme arbitrator of 
good and evil has already acquired the most important basic 
motive for a good character and good habits. 

The strategic time to teach children to subordinate their 
own impulses to higher values is when they are too young 
to understand, but not too young to accept. When parents 
decide not to send their children to Sunday School until 
they are old enough to know what it is all about, they are 
adopting a ruinous policy. For by the time the children 
have learned what it is all about, it is usually too late to do 
much about it. 

It is a dangerous principle to make one's personal likes 
and dislikes the basis for his action. We need a higher 
authority on right and wrong than ourselves, our parents, or 
even the authority of the nation. We have all been disgusted 
with the irresponsibility and absolute inconsistency and un- 
truth of Mr. Khrushchev, who leans entirely on the arm of 
flesh and acknowledges no higher authority than his own, 
either on earth or in heaven. It is a historic communist doc- 
trine that when they make war they call it peace, and when 
we resist they call it war. And they themselves are the only 
judges of right and wrong. Without a belief in a higher 
power than themselves, everyone, including the Communists, 
fail to achieve their own potential. A return to religion is 


the most important need of the Russian people. It is also 
our most important need as a nation and as individuals. 

Dr. Link says that his return to religion was a highly 
intellectual as well as a highly scientific return. He dis- 
covered that the most effective possible practice of psychol- 
ogy was to live the religion that he had previously discarded 
as having little value. The greatest of all discoveries is when 
man discovers God. The greatest of all decisions is when 
man accepts God as his guide in matters of right and wrong. 

Daniel Webster once said, "The most important thought 
that ever occupied my mind was that of my individual respon- 
sibility to God." What a tremendous anchor to our success 
such a philosophy becomes! 

An effective practice of religion can be the most helpful 
of all of our life's influences. For example, Dr. Link dis- 
covered that most of the people who occupied sick beds were 
there because of some mental or emotional problem that 
could only be cured by religious therapy. We see this same 
problem and the same solution in operation all around us. 

Some time ago a broken-hearted young woman with her 
first baby came to talk about her troubles. She had married 
when she was very young, against the advice of her parents. 
She had been deeply in love, and she thought that this won- 
derful feeling that she and this young man had for each other 
was sufficient in itself to guarantee their happiness. But her 
husband was lacking in basic moral character and had not 
been sufficiently grounded in the principles and practices of 
religion. The only code he knew was that of his own will. 
God's standards of right and wrong were unintelligible con- 
cepts to him. A little drinking with his friends and a few 
immoral indulgences were not incompatible with the stand- 
ards set by his bodily urges. Because his wife's life was gov- 
erned by religious standards and his by his own pleasures, a 
great void developed between them to make a happy mar- 
riage impossible; and what was supposed to be a holy 


relationship has become one of continual heartbreak and 

This splendid young woman has now learned that love 
alone is not enough. Satisfaction in human relations must 
have imder it a foundation of basic religious character. If 
this woman's husband cannot be faithful to God, there is 
little likelihood that he will be faithful to her. 

Lord Burleigh once said, "Never trust anyone who is 
unsound in his religion, for he that is false to God can never 
be true to man/' The purpose of religion is to make men 
honest and upright in all their dealings and associations. 
Real religion will make all human conduct conform to the 
law of God. Can anyone think of anything in the world that 
is even half as important? Real religion will make a man a 
better husband, a better father, a better businessman, and a 
better citizen. Rowland Hill says, "I would give nothing for 
a man's religion if even his dog and cat were not better off 
as a consequence/' 

Dr. Link's return to religion was prompted by his science. 
But a real return to religion involves much more than psy- 
chology. A return to religion is the way we bring about 
our success as well as the way we save our souls. More than 
anything else our world and all of us as individuals need 
to have a return to the religion of Jesus Christ. Nothing else 
is so important. Solomon sought for wisdom, some seek for 
education, wealth or personal prestige. Health and strength 
are priceless assets, but above all other things, religion stands 
out as the thing most to be sought after. 

Near the end of his life, Patrick Henry said, "I have now 
distributed all of my property to my family. But there is 
one more thing that I wish I could give them, and that is 
the Christian religion. If they had that and I had not given 
them one shilling, they would have been rich. And if they 
had not had that, and I had given them all the world, they 
would be poor." 


All of us want the good things of life a good education, 
a fine home, a happy family, a prosperous business, an honor- 
able name, and material security. But all of these can be 
most easily attained on the single foundation of genuine 
religion. That is what we believe in, how we think, and 
what we do. 

All education is really about ourselves. We study medi- 
cine to learn how to keep ourselves well physically. We 
study psychology and psychiatry to keep ourselves well men- 
tally. Agriculture is how we feed ourselves. The social 
studies teach us to get along with each other. We study law 
to learn to keep out of trouble, business is how we deal with 
each other. 

Then we have this great science of religion which teaches 
us how to keep ourselves well spiritually. A strong religion 
makes all accomplishment easy. Charles Kingsley said that 
he did not merely want to possess a religion, he wanted a 
religion that would possess him. Sometimes we use religion 
merely as a kind of lightning rod to ward off trouble. Some 
use religion primarily for its social or business advantage. 
But this is not the real purpose of religion, for as Ruskin 
said, "Anything that makes religion a secondary object makes 
it no object. And he who offers God a second place in his 
life offers him no place/' God and religion should be primary 
in our lives. 

Colton has said that "Men will wrangle for religion, 
write for it, fight for it, die for it, they will do anything but 
live for it." And yet living is our business, and we need some 
real religious discipline to help us live at our best. Most 
people, both children and adults alike, turn away from dis- 
cipline and make of existence a kind of life-long indulgence. 
Parents indulge their children and themselves. Politicians 
indulge the masses. The material and scientific advantages 
of our civilization conspires to make our lives easier and our 
characters weaker. We need a stronger portion of the severe 


standards of right and wrong to make our lives more mean- 

The great Apostle Paul said, "My son, despise not the 
chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of 
him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth 
every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God 
dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the 
father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, 
whereof all are partakers, then are ye ... not sons. 

"Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which 
corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not 
much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and 
live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after then- 
own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers 
of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth 
to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth 
the peaceable fruit of righteousness . . ." (Heb. 12:5-11.) 

If the gospel of Jesus Christ is true, it is the most tre- 
mendous idea ever known in the world, and men who are 
obedient thereto will enjoy eternal life in the presence of God. 
But even if the gospel had no divine origin, one would be 
better off for having lived its principles. Pascal says, "If a 
man should err in supposing the Christian religion to be true, 
he could not possibly be a loser by the mistake. But how 
irreparable is his loss and how inexpressible his danger who 
should err in supposing it to be false/' 

The gospel of Jesus Christ is true, and it is the foundation 
on which all success and happiness must rest. Religion is 
not the refuge of the weak, but the instrument of those who 
would be strong. It is the means by which we may become 
masters of ourselves, rather than slaves of our environment. 
May each of us personally conduct his own return to the 
religion of Jesus Christ in such a way that it may possess 
his life. 

The Second Mile 

ONE OF the most helpful of all success 
philosophies was given by Jesus 

in his story of the second mile. The people to whom Jesus 
was speaking were subject to a very unpleasant military reg- 
ulation giving a Roman soldier the right to command a civil- 
ian to carry his burden for one mile. This made a very 
disagreeable situation for those who hated their Roman 

It must have been a double shock, therefore, to hear 
Jesus say, "Whosoever shall compel thee to go one mile, go 
with him twain/' Merely to accompany a Roman soldier 
was a defiling business. To carry his burdens for any dis- 
tance was unpleasant. But to voluntarily go even beyond 
the demands of Imperial Rome was a disgraceful surrender. 
We can imagine how it would clash with American tempera- 
ment to be forced to carry the burdens of an oppressive for- 
eign conqueror. It could not have been less distasteful to 
the Jews. 

Over a half century ago Harry Emerson Fosdick wrote 
a very helpful little book under the title of The Second Mile. 
He challenges our thinking with many interesting applica- 
tions for this important philosophy of the Master, which we 
might well utilize to solve our own problems. That is we 
can also overcome the hates and dreads of life by cheerfully 
doing more than is required. 

To illustrate this point, we recall the interesting fictional 
story of Ben Hur. Ben Hur, who was supposed to have been 
a contemporary of Jesus, was made a Roman slave and con- 
signed to work the oars of a Roman galley. Ben Hur's com- 
panions accepted their assignments with bitterness and hate, 


and as a consequence their naked backs were bruised and 
cut by the lashes of their Roman masters. But Ben Hur 
adopted the philosophy of the second mile. He did his work 
as though his oars were taking him on a pleasure cruise to 
some worth-while objective. Ben Hur knew that no effort 
is ever lost, and he worked twice as hard as he was asked 
to work. 

His willing attitude and powerful effort greatly pleased 
his Roman masters, and Ben Hur asked nothing in return 
except that he be permitted to work on both sides of the 
galley, that his body muscles may develop equally. 

Then came the shipwreck and Ben Hur rescued a Roman 
Tribune. Then followed the chariot races at Antioch, where 
those mighty arms developed in the galleys enabled Ben Hur 
to master the horses, win the chariot race and his own free- 

History loves to record the names of men who in the 
spirit of the second mile have conquered the malice of their 
hate. There is an old Grecian story about one who was 
chosen in a joke to be the town's scavenger. But he filled 
the office with such splendid good will and helpful service, 
that thereafter throughout all of Greece, the office of scav- 
enger was sought as one of great honor. 

Military service to one's country is usually not greatly 
coveted. But we remember that Nathan Hale glorified the 
offices of patriot, and when his life demanded, went the 
second mile and said, "I regret that I have but one life to 
give for my country." But so frequently our attitudes re- 
semble the feelings of the captive Hebrews toward the duties 
imposed upon them by this hated Roman law. 

One of the best ways to avoid bitterness and the slavery 
caused by life's necessities, is to enthusiastically give more 
service than is asked for. That super-abundant willingness 
in life that characterized the service of Ben Hur always 


marks one for greatness. We can glorify even the most com- 
mon drudgery by doing it nobly. When we go further 
than is required, when we do more than we get paid f or, only 
then do we get paid for more than we do. 

The second mile philosophy translates duty into priv- 
ilege. The first mile may be drudgery. But glory always 
comes with the second mile. This over-abundant willingness 
to serve must have seemed impossibly difficult to the Jews, 
and yet it is a basic success principle. 

The military might of ancient Rome has long since dis- 
appeared, and the hated Roman soldiers can no longer com- 
pel reluctant hands to do unwilling service; but the second 
mile principle remains an important factor in human happi- 
ness and success. 

All people live on one of three levels of performance. The 
first level is the must level. That is the lowest. Above the 
must level is the ought level. But the highest level of per- 
formance is the want level. That is the level of the second 

If we personify some of the compulsions of our own 
lives, we will recognize that they are to us about what the 
hated Roman soldiers were to the captive Jews. Then if we 
can learn to apply the philosophy of Jesus, we will be able 
to solve all of our problems on their highest level. 

Suppose that we think about that part of the work of 
the world that we have been given to do. Frequently there 
is a compulsion involved that may be as disagreeable and 
demanding as the heavily burdened Roman soldier. Neces- 
sity demands that we carry this heavy load for a long, dreary 
mile. If we accept our work reluctantly and go about its 
accomplishment like unwilling slaves under the lash of a 
galley master, begrudgingly performing the barest require- 
ments, then like the rancorous old Hebrew, with resentment 
in our hearts, we trudge our weary mile in the spirit of bitter- 


ness, while failure breeds poison in our hearts. For one 
mile people are mercilessly beaten by life's cat-o-nine-tails 
held in the hands of necessity. 

But Jesus said, "Whosoever shall compel thee to go with 
htm a mile, go with him twain/' To go the second mile 
requires a different land of person. We all need some Ben 
Hur qualifications. The second mile man says, "My work 
is rny best friend. It is my blessing from God, even though 
it may come in disguise. But even though it shows a stern 
f ace, it may be loaded with strength, courage and good cheer. 
The second mile worker greets his task by saying, "You 
demand that I travel with you for a long, hard mile. Then 
take off your scowl and throw away the lash, for I am twice 
as willing to work as you are to have me. I will go with 
you to the very limit of my strength. Only let me row on 
both sides of the ship that I may develop symmetrically." 

When thus greeted, any task loses its frown of compul- 
sion, and begins to smile happily upon its devotee. 

The attitude of the second mile saves the soul from bit- 
terness and hate. It banishes weariness and makes one's 
work his very meat and drink. Then he wishes that there 
were more hours in the day. He dreams of heaven as a greater 
opportunity to work over a longer period. Then even the 
slavery of the first mile vanishes and man and his task be- 
come good friends as they walk arm in arm to the end of 
the journey, and are sorry when even the second mile is done. 

There is another kind of compulsion that in some degree 
faces every man, and that is the compulsion of limiting cir- 
cumstances. Restricted personal powers sometimes narrow 
one's activities and shuts him up in obscurity. Some people 
are thwarted by broken health. Some are hedged in by that 
stern old Roman who compels us to bear the limitations of 
our own individuality, For a man of one talent to accept 
himself is difficult business. To noble men the most vexa- 


tious handicaps of all, are the limitations found within them- 
selves. It is so easy then to meet our problems and fail by 
adopting the one mile spirit. We may grow surly, rebellious 
and morose within our narrow limitations. 

Then we need to learn from Jesus the philosophy of 
the second mile so that we can greet our limitations with a 
smiling face and make our own place beautiful no matter 
how limited it may be. Fair flowers can grow in small places. 
We should remember that limitations are almost always bless- 
ings in disguise. Demosthenes became the greatest orator in 
the world, not in spite of his speech impediment, but because 
of it. John Milton had to be blind for some 20 years before 
he could write Paradise Lost. Someone said that Milton could 
never see paradise until he lost his eyes. The Apostle Paul 
was perhaps made great, partly by the .thorn that tormented 
his flesh. 

We have a memory of John Bunyan, glorifying the lim- 
itations imposed upon him in Bedford Jail, by writing that 
great philosophy of the Pilgrim's Progress. 

The spirit of the second mile is exemplified by the 
young woman who wrote to her friend from her invalid's 
bed, and said of her invalidism, "At first I tried to make the 
best of it, but now I am going to make the most of it/' All 
men pay homage to these second mile folks who go the first 
hard mile with over-abundant willingness, and then make 
the second mile beautiful by their consecration. 

Then there are the stern regulations of the duties of our 
personal lives. For example, die first mile obligations of 
marriage can be enforced. There is an irreducible minimum 
of duty which public opinion and state laws insist upon 
from wives and husbands, parents and children. Like some 
old Roman, the social conscience tells us of the necessary 
minimum requirements governing family relationships. We 
must do certain one mile things, and sometimes we do just 


what we have to do and no more. A household can be run 
in the spirit of a miser paying his taxes, where the members 
are concerned only with the minimum duties. Then when 
a niggardly soul must give a quart of kindness, he measures 
it out in thimblesful to avoid the risk of an overpayment, 
The one mile spirit says there must be an overflowing of 
spontaneous love, or of volunteering any surplus kindness. 
The law says, only one long, dreary mile, and no one can 
demand any more. The unnecessary courtesies, the unex- 
pected presents, the uncalled for thoughtfulness, the surprises 
and kindliness that come over and above what is required 
cannot be enforced. 

However, it is this second mile super-abundance that 
makes the real home. Any man who has had a real mother 
knows that the glory of motherhood comes in the second 
mile. The real mother is faithful to her duties, but she is 
much more than that. She has an extra radiance that glows 
through her simple tasks like a quiet dawn in summer. The 
minimum rules are forgotten. She has an ampleness of love, 
resembling the love of the eternal God. A mother's min- 
istries go beyond the commonplace, and her spirit far out- 
reaches the requirements of the law. What a delight is a 
second mile mother, a second mile father and second mile 

In the religion of Jesus we see the greatest characteri- 
zation of the spirit of the second mile. But even in religion 
our conduct divides itself into two parts, the compulsory 
and the voluntary, the things we must do and the things we 
want to do. And only as the voluntary absorbs the com- 
pulsory does religion attain its fullest meaning and dignity. 
Until willingness conquers obligation, even church men fight 
as religious conscripts instead of following the flag as pa- 
triots. Never until our privileges loom larger than our duties 
do men become truly moral. To be a true Christian one 
must be more anxious to minister than to be ministered unto. 


He must want to go the second mile, to forget seventy times 
seven, to love his enemies, and make it his meat and drink to 
do the will of him who sent him. 

The essential word in Christianity is love. And a man 
becomes really Christian when the sense of joy in his religion 
overflows his rights and duties. The grim moralist doing his 
duty, or the man who is a slave to necessities, is not equal to 
him who has an abounding sense of privilege in life. Then 
we are able to say with the prophet, "My delight is in the 
law of the Lord/' 

The Apostle Paul had the spirit of the second mile when 
just prior to meeting the headsman's axe in Rome he said, 
"Thanks be to God who counted me worthy, appointing me 
to be his minister/* Paul's second mile zeal took the sting 
out of death. The love that goes with the second mile is 
more than a solvent for moral drudgeries. It says, "Whether 
you are my friend or not, yet I am yours, and will always 
be/' That is the level on which Jesus lived, and that is what 
he expects from us who follow him. 

Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments/* 
Love is the fulfilling of the law. It makes everything easy, 
and it embodies that magnificent philosophy of the second 
mile wherein Jesus says, "Whosoever shall smite thee on 
thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man 
will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him 
have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to 
go a mile, go with him twain." 


\ X / E LIVE IN a day of almost unbeliev- 
* * able miracles and wonders. With 
the aid of television our eyes can see across oceans, with 
radios our ears can hear around the world. We fly above 
the clouds and in perfect comfort ride under the polar ice- 
cap. Our rockets have already landed on the moon and 
we are now flapping our wings for a flight into outer space. 

But a far greater wonder than any of these is outlined 
in the first chapter of Genesis. What a thrill we get when 
we read of God creating the heavens and the earth. Sup- 
pose that we could have been here, when the earth was with- 
out form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the 
deep. Then picture the joy resulting from those thrilling 
words when in the march of progress God first said, "Let 
there be light/' The vitalizing rays of the sun were made 
to shine upon the earth. God covered the earth with some 
sixteen inches of a miraculous substance called topsoil. Then 
as the key to the existence of all growth, God created that 
wonder of wonders called a seed. A seed is a little capsule 
containing the secret of life itself. It has the miraculous 
power of propagation and multiplication. As one of the 
crowning achievements of creation God said, "Let the earth 
bring forth . . . the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree 
yielding fruit after its kind, whose seed is in itself/' Seeds 
are the keys by which we can unlock the great treasure house 
of the earth. 

Suppose that in imagination we walk through that first 
garden which was arranged by the Creator himself. The 
Bible says, "The Lord God planted a garden eastward in 
Eden." (Gen. 2:8) And he made to grow therein every 


tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. In 
the midst of this beautiful garden God planted two special 
trees one was "the tree of life" and the other was "the 
tree of the knowledge of good and evil/' 

Then out of the ground, capable of producing so many 
wonderful things, God created the earthly tabernacles of our 
first parents. And after he had breathed into their nostrils 
the breath of life, he placed them in the garden. And God 
said to them, "Behold, I have given you every herb bearing 
seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and . . . the fruit 
of the tree yielding seed, to you it shall be for meat/' ( Gen. 
1:29) The Bible says that God created every plant of the 
field before it was in the earth and every herb of the field 
before it grew. (Gen. 2:5) 

"For," said he, c l, the Lord God created all things of 
which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally 
upon the face of the earth . . /* (Moses 3:5) 

The other day I visited in a vast supermarket in which 
were displayed hundreds of varieties and colors of these won- 
derful products coming from seeds. I thought of the inter- 
esting fact that they were first created in heaven by God 
himself, then he gave us these wonders called seeds whereby 
we can produce every variety in any color or quantity. From 
these beautiful godly creations every vitamin can be supplied 
and every taste can be satisfied. As I marveled I thought what 
a delight it would have been to have visited in the Garden 
of Eden as it flourished in that period before man's trans- 
gression brought the earth to its fallen condition. As won- 
derful as the earths productivity is now what must it have 
been then. 

Adding to my own wonder, I recently visited the farm 
of a very good friend of mine. Each year he supplies the 
supermarket with hundreds of tons of food to maintain the 
health of thousands of people. Each spring he plants some 
of his acres with potato seed. A little later in the year he 

SEEDS 289 

harvests thousands of bushels of potatoes, all packed with 
vitamins and every element necessary to nourish the bodies, 
vitalize the minds, and delight the tastes of people. 

If this fanner should pile up the potato crops for a few 
years that he gets out of this sixteen inches of topsoil, he 
could soon have potatoes covering the ground twenty feet 
deep, and still have his sixteen inches of topsoil left undi- 

But by means of these little miracles called seeds, my 
friend can also bring out of the ground life-giving grains, 
delicious fruits and health-packed vegetables of every kind, 
variety and amount. And in addition to supplying food, 
there are always an abundance of seeds to satisfy the need 
of future years. One tomato seed multiplies itself a million 
times in a single season. 

My friend has a most interesting hobby of preparing 
special plots of ground in which he grows dozen of varieties 
of flowers, vegetables, fruits and nuts for the mere satisfac- 
tion of seeing this miracle of creation repeated before his eyes. 
Not only does he produce flowers in every pattern of color, 
design and fragrance but he further re-enacts the miracle 
of creation by bringing forth strawberries, raspberries, black- 
berries, grapes, peaches and apples. 

On the morning of creation God looked out upon this 
wonder and called it very good. My friend does the same 
thing, and seeing his joy I can imagine the pleasure that even 
God must have received from these marvelous creations. 

My friend showed me his collection of seeds for next 
year's planting. Some of them are so tiny as to be almost 
microscopic. No one could ever guess at the fabulous pos- 
sibilities stored therein. With some feeling near to desecra- 
tion we broke some of these seeds open and found them as 
unimpressive on the inside as they were on the outside. We 
could recognize no sign of life. There were no. written direc- 


tions or formulas to get them going or guide their growth 
afterwards. There was no hint of the secret of color and 
beauty of which they were capable nor was there in evidence 
any machinery to bring about this miracle that was inherent 
in them. 

When seeds are planted in rich black soil, a major miracle 
can always be depended upon. And each seed will be faith- 
ful to God's decree that it shall always bring forth after its 
kind. Without the aid of scientists or engineers, these little 
miracles send their unseen fingers among the invisible ele- 
ments in the soil, the water, the air and the sunshine and 
pick out exactly the right kinds and proportions of building 
materials to create the vitamins, fragrance, color, food, vital- 
ity and beauty necessary for human health and happiness. 
All of this takes place in such a way that only God himself 
can even understand it. 

After an excursion around my friend's farm, he read to 
me from the Bible about the wonders of the heavens and the 
earth. But one of the parts of creation that thrills me most, 
is the sunshine and the topsoil and this marvelous invention 
of Deity called a seed. Man can make airplanes and tele- 
vision sets and self-guided missiles with atomic bombs in their 
noses. We can even put satellites and astronauts in their 
orbits in space. But no one has yet come close enough even 
to hope to understand the mechanism of the most simple seed. 
My friend had these colorless, unimpressive, lifeless looking 
seeds all carefully classified, and marked so that at the right 
time he can drop them into the soil to re-enact at will the ex- 
citing story of creation. 

For my own pleasure I memorized an interesting poem 
which says: 

I paid a dime for a package of seeds, 
And the clerk tossed them out with a flip 

have them assorted to every manTs needs," 

SEEDS 291 

He said with a smile on his lip 

"Asters and poppies and pansies and peas 

Ten cents a package and pick as you please." 

Now, seeds are just dimes to the man in the store, 

And the dimes are the things that he needs; 

And I've been to buy them in seasons before 

But have thought of them merely as seeds. 

But it flashes through my mind as I took them this time, 

You have purchased a miracle here for a dime! 

YouVe a dime's worth of something no man can Create 

You've a dime's worth of life in your hand. 

YouVe a dime's worth of mystery, destiny, fate 

That the wisest cannot understand. 

In this bright little package, now isn't it odd, 

YouVe a dime's worth of something known only to God. 

Anyone who can believe in a seed should have no trouble 
believing in an all wise creator. Mrs. L. M. Child pays her 
tribute to creation by saying, "How the heart of man blesses 
flowers. They are wreathed around the cradle, the marriage 
altar and the tomb. They deck the brow of the youthful 
bride, they twine around the tomb as the perpetual symbol 
of the resurrection. They festoon the altar, their fragrance 
and beauty ascend in perpetual worship before the Most 
High. Every rose is an autograph from God/' 

But the Creator has also developed another kind of seed 
that produces even more miraculous results. Jesus charac- 
terized himself as a sower of seeds. He had die world for 
his field and the minds of men as his topsoil. He planted the 
seeds of great ideas, wonderful virtues, productive abilities 
and noble character traits in the lives of people. These are 
also capable of growing into a most profitable harvest and 
reproducing themselves through their seeds. Every human 
accomplishment begins with the seed of a thought. 

When young Abraham Lincoln made his first trip down 
the Mississippi to New Orleans, he attended a public auc- 
tion and saw a young negro girl on the block being sold to 


the highest bidder. A vigorous idea immediately took root 
in his mind. He said, "If I ever get a chance to hit that 
thing, I'll hit it hard/' In a few years this tiny seed had 
grown into the Emancipation Proclamation, bringing freedom 
to four million human beings, plus all of their future posterity. 

In the Meridian of Time, the Apostle James planted an- 
other seed saying, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of 
God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and 
it shall be given him/' Eighteen centuries later this seed 
took root in the mind of a young man named Joseph Smith. 
The result has already affected the lives of millions and will 
not only change the history of the world but will help bring 
eternal life to many of God's children. 

Emerson said, "Thoughts rule the world/' And Victor 
Hugo pointed out that "Nothing is as powerful as an idea 
whose time has come." The right kinds of thoughts arouse 
our intellects from their slumbers. They give luster to our 
virtues and dignity to truth. Good thoughts make our souls 
blossom with a love of goodness. Herter said, "Give me a 
great thought that I may quicken myself with it/' 

The Holy Scriptures and life itself are like great seed 
catalogs where we may find the beginnings of faith, courage, 
purity, honor, love, devotion, loyalty, and appreciation in 
all their beauty. When these ideas are planted in the seed 
bed of a godly human mind, they may produce the most 
wonderful harvest of satisfactions and eternal benefits. 

However, as Jesus pointed out, not all seeds are good 
seeds. There are some seeds that produce tares and thistles. 
Jesus said that we should cast away our idle thoughts. (D&C 
88:66) Some thoughts produce a poison fruit. Impure 
thoughts awaken impure feelings, and lead to impure acts. 
Evil thoughts ripen quickly and if they are not destroyed 
will crowd out the most worth-while things. Satan himself 
planted the seeds of transgression and sin in the world and 

SEEDS 298 

they continue to grow, causing suffering, unhappiness and 
death. If we take poisonous substances into our bodies, 
death may be the result. And when we take poisons into 
our minds and hearts, we may bring upon ourselves a spiritual 

Sin and evil grow very rapidly in the soil of some peopled 
lives and soon destroy integrity and faith, sometimes with- 
out the fact being known. Ere we are aware, the seeds of 
evil, if given a chance, can crowd everything that is good out 
of one's life. 

One of the greatest of life's privileges is that we may 
prepare our own seed beds. We may sow our own seeds 
and reap our own harvests. 

There are some people who get their greatest pleasures 
from creating strains of beautiful music. Others paint inspir- 
ing pictures. Some gather the seeds of great literature and 
transplant them into the rich soil of their own lives. My 
friend gathers seeds and then reproduces a multiplication of 
color, fragrance, taste and health for thousands of people. 
Suppose that we take the seeds of great ideals, ambitions, 
spirituality and Godliness, and by proper planting produce 
in abundance the golden fruit of eternal life. 

It is a wonderful experience to get an idea. But only 
when an idea gets us do we make the greatest progress. Ideas 
can perform miracles. Thoughts are mightier than armies. 
They go booming through the world louder than cannons. 
Righteous principles and godly ideas have achieved more 
victories than all of the tanks, airplanes and missiles of de- 
struction put together. 

May God help us to be good husbandmen as we plant 
the seeds of a godly accomplishment in as many lives as 

The Shortest Highway 

SOME TIME ago during a General 
Conference, Elder Harold B. Lee 

made reference to a road sign at the Point of the Mountain 
officially marking Utah Highway 187. According to the 
marker, 187 is the shortest designated highway in the state. 
It is approximately a quarter of a mile in length and con- 
nects Highway 91 with the Utah State Penitentiary. 

This day in which we live has been called "The High- 
way Age/' One of the first things that Adolph Hitler did 
in trying to give power to his country was to build super high- 
ways all over Germany to make possible the quick move- 
ment of soldiers and supplies from any part of Germany to 
any other part. At the present time in our own country we 
also have underway a gigantic highway construction program. 
At tremendous expense valuable land is being purchased and 
costly buildings are being torn down and great freeways are 
beginning to appear in their places. These enable large 
numbers of people to move quickly with the fewest possible 
number of stops. We are also making highways under the 
seas and up into the skies and then on out into space. 

But we are also building other lands of highways. There 
are highways of thought leading to important spiritual men- 
tal and social destinations. The scriptures tell us of a straight 
and narrow highway that leads to eternal life in the presence 
of God. It also speaks of a broad road that leads to destruc- 
tion. Each of these highways has its own individual charac- 
teristics. The straight and narrow road is marked by bound- 
aries and limitations. This is not true of the broad road. On 
the broad way there is plenty of room for turnings and 
meanderings and everything is permissible. 


We have become fairly familiar with the concepts in- 
volved in the idea of a straight and narrow way. We also 
know quite a lot about broad roads and winding roads and 
crooked roads. We are aware of the uphill and downhill 
aspects of our thoroughfares. However, Highway 187 fur- 
nishes us with a little different kind of concept as it is noted 
for its shortness. Each of these various arteries of travel pro- 
vide us with interesting parallels for our own lives. That is, 
life also has its freeways where speed is the chief objective. 
There are other lives that are noted for their turnings, stop- 
pings, startings, and meanderings. Some of life's travelers 
are not inhibited by any limitations or restraints and place 
very few things out of bounds. It is interesting that because 
of its restrictions the straight and narrow way is traveled by 
only a comparatively few people. 

But one of the most interesting things about any high- 
way is its length. We are greatly interested in shortcuts. 
Highway 187 is the shortest highway, but in common with 
some of life's other thoroughfares its length is determined 
by which direction you are going. Some people have trav- 
eled Highway 187 from its eastern beginning to its western 
ending in just a few seconds, and then have taken the next 
25 years to reverse the trip and get from the prison back to 
Highway 91. 

There is an interesting old proverb that says, "There 
are a thousand steps from hell to heaven, but only one from 
heaven to hell/' Cain took a short cut to hell when he mur- 
dered his brother Abel. It probably required only a few 
minutes to complete the deed, but what a long, difficult, 
heartbreaking journey the return trip would be. 

Judas also took a short cut At nine o'clock one Thursday 
night Judas was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve in 
good standing. Then he spent a few minutes in the deadly 
business of betrayal, as a result of which by nine o'clock 
the next morning Jesus was being nailed to a Roman cross 


and the betrayer himself had already committed suicide. 
It didn't take very long after Judas left his Highway 91 until 
he had placed himself beyond the point of no return. By 
suicide he solved his problems so far as this life was con- 
cerned, but what about eternity? And what about our 
eternal lives? 

It takes a long time to build up a reputation for integrity 
and fair dealing. But it can all be destroyed by a ten-minute 
exception. It requires a long time to build an outstanding 
business success, but it may be lost in an hour. One may 
spend a lifetime building up a home with all of its treasures, 
memories and pleasant influences, but the most priceless 
home can be burned to the ground in a few minutes by one 
contact with a tiny little match. A city or a civilization is 
built to its highest state only when thousands of people work 
diligently for many years. But then its culture, its people 
and its wealth can be destroyed by one atomic blast. It 
takes years to educate a great human being, to build up 
his body, train his mind and vitalize his spirit, but by one 
dagger thrust he can be emptied of life. 

About the same kind of situation applies in spiritual 
affairs. The Bible says that "only he that endureth to the 
end shall be saved." But immorality, crime and sin all pro- 
vide shortcuts to spiritual death, and the destruction of life's 
eternal treasures. We understand about the broad road of 
life being very wide, but we should understand that it may 
also be very short. We might think of the institution at 
the end of Highway 187 as a small-scale model of what might 
be expected at the end of the broad short road spoken of by 
Jesus. When undertaking any trip in life we should give 
some advance thought to any possibility or difficulty or heart- 
break involved in the return journey, or whether that journey 
will even be possible. 

The people of Noah's day traveled the loose meandering 
highway of spiritual indifference, The course that they chose 
brought destruction upon them. However, physical death 


does not always solve our problems. Eternity has its 187's 
and its prison houses at the end of the road. For 25 cen- 
turies the antediluvians were confined in their eternal prison 
house to which they were assigned because of their disobedi- 
ence. Then while the body of Jesus lay in the tomb, his 
spirit went and preached to them about their possible refor- 
mation and deliverance. Peter says: "For Christ also hath 
once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might 
bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quick- 
ened by the Spirit; by which also he went and preached 
unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, 
when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of 
Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, 
eight souls were saved by water." (I Peter 3:18-20.) 

It is impossible for us to understand either the duration 
or the extent of this kind of suffering. How intensely the 
people of Noah's day must have regretted the thought of 
their looseness and the lack of restraint in their lives! How 
they must have mourned over the thought of what their lives 
might have been if they had followed a different highway! 

Recently I had the interesting experience of a brief 
visit among the inmates of the State Prison. I had a few 
very serious thoughts as I rode down the short length of 
Highway 187 and went behind strong, well-fortified prison 
walls. In the following period I met many of the prisoners 
personally. A number of them told me about their lives in 
prison and how they happened to get there. They gave an 
interesting point of view of what life itself meant to them. 
I had known some of them before as well as some of their 
families on the outside. What a tragedy this wrong highway 
procedure can be as it brings shame and unhappiness to so 
many people! How easy it is to make mistakes when we 
are on the wrong highway! 

On one occasion John Wesley went behind prison walls 
to witness an execution. The executioner put a hood over 
the condemned man's head and a noose around his neck. 


Then as the trap was sprung which swung this misguided 
human being out into eternity, John Wesley muttered to him- 
self, "But for the grace of God, there goes John Wesley/' 
Standing among these unfortunate men, deprived of their 
freedom by the state, one might well say, "But for the grace 
of God, or but for die instruction of good parents, or but 
for the inspiration of noble teachers, there go I." 

A ride down Highway 187 can be a very interesting 
experience if you are sure you have a return ticket. Many 
times I have passed the State Penitentiary along Highway 91 
without realizing the problems that had complicated the 
lives of these prisoners separated from the world only by 
the short distance of a quarter of a mile. The reasons for 
the differences in the people's lives living at the opposite 
ends of Highway 187 might well remind us of W. Somerset 
Maugham's story The Razors Edge, which Daryl Zanuck 
made into a four-million-dollar movie, the central theme 
of which centers around the idea that the difference between 
failure and success is sometimes as fine as a razor's edge. 

One of the best illustrations of this truth was demon- 
strated during the filming of the picture itself. There were 
eight principal actors and eight stand-ins. That is, each 
principal had a substitute to do the hard, grueling, tiresome 
work. After the film was finished, Life Magazine published 
the pictures of the eight principals on one page and the eight 
stand-ins on the opposite page. The stand-in for Tyrone 
Power, for example, was Thomas Noonan, a close associate. 
They had gone to high school together. They were about 
the same size, equally intelligent and with equal opportuni- 
ties. They were dressed about the same and were very 
similar in appearance. As close a similarity as possible 
existed between each principal and his stand-in. But in 
one way they were not similar. The combined salaries re- 
ceived by the eight principals for filming this picture 
amounted to $480,000, and the combined salaries of the eight 
stand-ins amounted to $6,534. The principals were just a 


little bit better, but they received 75 times as much compen- 
sation. A little better preparation, a little more attention to 
right and wrong, and a little more thought as to which road in 
life we should travel frequently makes the difference be- 
tween a principal and a stand-in, between life and death, 
happiness and misery, heaven and hell. 

Human progress has not always been steady. It is fre- 
quently subject to ebbs and flows. It washes back and 
forth like waves upon the beach. But history is littered with 
the bones of dead states and fallen empires because they 
chose the wrong course. Alaric's Goths poured over the walls 
of ancient Rome, not because the walls were too low, but 
because the moral standards of the Romans were too low. 
Sensuality and corruption had weakened the fiber of these 
once mighty, highly disciplined people. Their sins had 
made them unfit to survive and while you can't lock sinful 
nations up in prisons, yet evil and weakness will destroy 
them just the same. It was nearly a thousand years after 
the fall of Rome before the faint light of the Renaissance 
began to dawn. In between these dates the world endured 
the long night of the Dark Ages, when nearly all human 
institutions were inferior to those that had preceded them. 
The penalty inflicted upon the nations who took the wrong 
course should prompt us to check up on our own travel 
philosophy. We are all aware of our own country's crime 
wave and the rising incidence of human delinquency. 

In many cases instead of changing our course, we merely 
rationalize and say that sin is largely imaginary. We have 
become believers in what might be called behavioristic psy- 
chology. We tell ourselves that we are the product of our 
heredity and our environment and that our sins are not our 
fault. When we build our lives upon a foundation of jelly, 
or when we permit our nation to become an American Sodom 
and Gomorrah we can depend upon it that we are headed 
down a short highway with no return ticket. 


As a nation and as individuals we are traveling too many 
of these short roads leading toward disaster. Who of our 
day does not recognize the dirt and immorality that we are 
feeding ourselves through the movies, magazines, newspa- 
pers and television, or the weakness that we bring upon 
ourselves by dishonesty? The healthy man who chooses 
to loaf on unemployment compensation is not strengthening 
his country. The playwright who would degrade us, the 
author who would profit from pandering to the worst there 
is in us are not friends of ours. And when we tolerate per- 
sonal sins we are buying a one-way ticket on Highway 187. 
Strong nations are built only by people who are capable of 
great energy and self-discipline, and so are godly personal 

It is time for us to recognize that there is such a thing as 
sin. It is time we brought self-discipline back into style. It 
is time to revitalize our belief in the doctrine of the eternal 
judgment, and it is time for us to get on our knees before 
God and pray that we will have enough strength to get on 
and stay on that straight and narrow way that leads to eternal 

Simon and the Cross 

""THEBE ABE many people who live in 
' Hstory mainly because their lives 

touched the life of Jesus of Nazareth. One woman is re- 
membered because she gave him a drink of water. One 
because she prepared a dinner in his honor. One poured 
ointment on his feet. Another woman is remembered because 
she asked forgiveness at his hands. One man doubted him, 
one denied him, one betrayed him. Another sentenced him 
to death, and still another loaned him his sepulchre. 

One of these interesting New Testament people who 
lives in our memories was one whose life apparently touched 
the life of Jesus by the merest circumstance. After the sen- 
tence of crucifixion had been passed, a little group of inter- 
ested onlookers, led by Roman soldiers, started for Golgotha. 
The central figure of this interesting company was Jesus, 
struggling under the heavy weight of his own cross. In 
the hours immediately preceding this period, he had gone 
through intense suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane. He 
had then spent the long, weary hours of the night and early 
morning hearing unpleasant accusations, enduring a mock 
trial and suffering an unjust sentence. He now appears to 
be nearing the point of total exhaustion. And as the solemn 
procession made its weary way toward Calvary, Jesus stum- 
bled and fell under his heavy burden. From this fall he 
seemed unable to rise. 

But just at the time of his fall, a man named Simon 
came upon the scene. Simon was a Jew from Gyrene, a 
settlement in the North African province of Lybia. He had 
probably come to Jerusalem for the passover, and on this 
Friday morning as he was going into the city, he met this 
strange procession. Probably impelled by his own curiosity, 


he was drawn to where Jesus was having trouble. The Roman 
officer in charge, impatient to get his job done, specifically 
selected Simon from the crowd, and ordered him to replace 
Jesus in carrying the cross. 

All of the three Bible accounts make mention of the 
fact that Simon was compelled to carry the cross. Simon 
was a long way from home, with many things to attend to 
while in Jerusalem. He had no time to be involved in this 
distasteful business of crucifixion. But under the compulsion 
of Roman bayonets, he had no choice; and so Simon the 
Cyrenian carried the cross of Jesus to the top of Calvary 
so that the Savior of the world could be crucified. 

Being a Jew, Jerusalem was the center of Simon's home- 
land. His interests focused in the Holy City. In planning 
this journey, Simon had probably wondered what interesting 
events would be encountered along the way. Many of our 
blessings come unexpected and in disguise, and it was 
Simon's unexpected privilege to walk by the side of the 
Savior of the world and carry the cross on which the atoning 
sacrifice would be made for all men. 

The lives of most people are made up largely of trifles. 
Only now and then does one have a really great experience. 
But it was Simon's good fortune to be forced into what would 
forever be the outstanding experience of his life. As the 
passage of time gave the crucifixion importance, Simon must 
have felt an unusual pride in his significant role of sharing 
with the Redeemer the spotlight in the central scene in the 
history of the world. But Simon holds the focus of history's 
stage only for a moment while his strong, vigorous body is 
carrying the heavy cross of Christ to the top of Calvary. 
The moment he laid down the cross, he again dropped from 
sight never to be heard of again. 

Some forty years later a written record was made of the 
crucifixion. By this time those seeds planted forty years 
earlier had borne their fruit. Those who had been boys and 


girls at the time of the crucifixion were now men and women. 
Young fathers were now old men. Simon himself had prob- 
ably gone the way of all flesh. But the memory of what he 
did lived on. The record also calls our attention to the fact 
that Simon was the father of two staunch loyal followers of 
Christ by the names of Alexander and Rufus. Paul refers 
to these sons of Simon as "chosen of the Lord.*' 

Although Simon may have been upset at the time of his 
enforced service, yet he undoubtedly talked about it with 
his family, and it is only natural for him to make an effort to 
learn something about the life of this man whose cross he 
had carried. Then as the world began to buzz with the 
fame of Jesus and it became known that he had risen from 
the dead, Simon's interest must have greatly increased in 
Jesus and his mission. 

Sometimes our chance experiences turn out to have 
tremendous importance for us. Then we wish that we had 
realized their real significance at the time they were hap- 
pening. Certainly Simon's reluctance would have vanished 
if he had only known whose cross he was carrying. 

It would have been only natural later on, for Simon to 
have tried to compensate for his unwillingness to bear the 
burden of the Redeemer. In any event we imagine that 
Simon soon found out a great deal about Jesus and his 
teachings. The good record of Simons sons indicates that 
their father may have set them a good example by being 
baptized and becoming a faithful follower of him who had 
already said to his disciples, "Go ye into all the world and 
teach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and 
is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be 
damned." When anyone really understands those tremen- 
dous words, a new ambition starts stirring in his soul. 

What a thrilling personal meaning Simon must have 
found in the words of Jesus saying, "If any man will come 
after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and 
follow me." (Matt. 16:24.) I like to think of the Cyrenian 


as following this instruction in its spiritual as well as its 
literal meaning. 

The term "cross" as used by Jesus was intended to indi- 
cate a test of devotion and loyalty to the cause by those 
who followed him. Certainly the expression "take up the 
cross and follow me" meant much more than to merely ac- 
knowledge his name, or even to be baptized. When Jesus 
was out in the desert before his crucifixion, he had performed 
a miracle and fed five thousand from the loaves and fishes. 
Later Jesus accused some of those who followed him of being 
more interested in being fed from his loaves than they were 
in drinking from his cup. There are still those among us who 
attempt to live by bread alone. Many have a greater appetite 
for eating of his loaves than for carrying his cross. 

On that eventful crucifixion morning as Jesus stumbled 
blindly toward Calvary, he needed the assistance of a strong, 
vigorous body to help him carry the load. Because no one 
volunteered, this great privilege was forced upon Simon. 
If the foresight of the members of that little group going to 
Golgotha had been as good as our hindsight, everyone pres- 
ent, including those wearing the Roman uniform, would 
have fought for the privilege of carrying the cross of Christ. 
But so frequently we pass up our opportunities until it is too 

Thirty-five years before Calvary, Jesus had needed a 
place to be born. But no room could be found for him in 
the inn. And yet the little village of Bethlehem lives in 
history merely because he was born in one of its stables. 
If the people had only known who it was that was about to 
be born, everyone would have offered him room. At a later 
date Simon must have felt a very real kind of regret that 
it had been necessary to use the steel of Roman bayonets 
to induce him to render this service to the Son of God. I 
imagine that Simon's regret must have produced in him a 
kind of over-compensation in his desire to make up for his 
reluctance and lack of understanding. 


But we are also a part of this picture of carrying the 
cross. The divine need is as great today as it ever was. 
The work of salvation is not yet finished. One of the greatest 
lines in Holy Scripture says, "And this is my work and my 
glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of 
man/' The work of God continues, and it was not only to 
those of the first century to whom Jesus spoke when he said, 
"He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not 
worthy of me/' (Matt. 10:38) 

Things did not go very well for Jesus during those years 
of his earthly ministry. The people then would not listen 
and they did not understand. Consequently the world was 
overrun with unrighteousness. But our world is also work- 
ing against the cause of Christ. Violence and evil are running 
rampant through the land. Because there are no Roman 
bayonets reminding us to do our duty, much of his work is 
not being done, and the souls of millions of our Father's 
children are being lost to sin and disobedience. Some day 
we will surely feel a regret equal to that of those who were 
content to let Jesus suffer and fall unaided while struggling 
under the weight of our sins. Or if we can feel the remorse 
of those who found no room for him to be born, we might 
understand the bitterness of our future regret if we allow 
him to bear his present-day burden alone. 

What a miserable experience it would have been to have 
been one of those crowding around the cross as a witness 
of his suffering for us, and yet to have done nothing about 
giving him a helping hand! To carry the cross of Christ is 
our greatest privilege. Jesus used this appropriate figure of 
speech to specify the willingness of people to work and suffer 
if need be in this important process of bringing about human 
salvation. It doesn't do much good to merely support him 
with our words or our testimonies, and then withdraw our 
strength and let him carry the cross alone. This idea of 
carrying the cross represents the test of our Christian patience, 


virtue and actual good works. It is also the greatest oppor- 
tunity in our world of great opportunities. 

The Lord is in great need of someone to help him change 
the direction of world affairs in our day. Like Simon, we 
are strong and possessed of great power. Just think of 
what we could accomplish if with one accord we would 
set our hearts upon doing his work. Even one man can, if 
he will, change the morale of a whole community. Cer- 
tainly we could change for good the spirituality of that 
area in which we live. 

The cross has been thought of by many as a symbol 
for Christianity. It might also represent the two most im- 
portant commandments. The gospel has a vertical as well 
as horizontal direction. The cross also has its two parts. 
The vertical points from the earth up to God. It represents 
the first and great commandment and reminds us to do our 
duty to our Heavenly Father. The horizontal bar reaches 
out toward our fellow men and represents the second great 
commandment. The prophet has said that when we are in 
the service of our fellow men, we are also in the service of 
God. Next only to love for his Father, the life of Jesus is 
characterized by his service to men. 

What a thrilling thing it ought to be for us to identify 
our lives with these two great objectives! The vertical stand- 
ard of the cross would serve a great purpose indeed if it 
made us always conscious of that great commandment that 
says, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy 
heart, and with all thy might, and with all thy mind. And 
thou shalt serve him with all thy strength/' By obedience 
to this commandment we could entitle ourselves to receive 
inspiration and direction from the source of all intelligence 
and power. But if we really love him we will become like 
him and we will serve him. Then we are ready for that part 
of our activities that reaches out in horizontal service to 
our fellow men. 


What a thrilling opportunity Simon had, if he had 
only taken advantage of it! Even his forced labor is the one 
thing for which he is remembered. But in addition this inci- 
dent was undoubtedly responsible for his sons qualifying as 
"the chosen of the Lord/' That is also our opportunity. For 
the call to service is still before us and we need not make 
Simon's mistake of reluctance. Jesus is still saying to us, 
"Take up your cross and follow me." (D&C 112:14) Jesus 
said: "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am 
meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your 
souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light/ 7 (Matt. 
11:29-30) But we must do something about it while the 
opportunity is still available. 

Members of one organization were recently shocked 
when their secretary read to them a list of 46 resolutions 
that they had passed during a certain year, on which no 
action had been taken. We also make a lot of resolutions. 
But nothing is settled by merely passing resolutions, however 
excellent they may be. 

In war they refer to this "fractional devotion" as fox- 
hole religion. There are people who turn to God only in the 
pinches or in their desperation. However, the most healthy 
kind of God-seeking is not like the man who neglects his friend 
until he needs a loan, or like Simon who carried the cross 
only before the point of a Roman bayonet. Today we have 
the greatest of opportunities to serve God. Jesus himself 
gave us the formula when he said, "Deny yourself and come, 
take up the cross, and follow me/' 

Sohrab and Rustum 

IN 1853, Matthew Arnold wrote 
' his great father-and-son poem, 

entitled "Sohrab and Rustum." Rustum, a powerful young 
Persian war Lord, had met and wed the daughter of 
the King of the Koords. Before their son Sohrab was born, 
Rustum was called to a far-away field of battle; and because 
his wife feared that he might seek out their son to train for 
war, she sent him word that the child which had been born 
to them had been a sickly girl. 

But Sohrab's warrior inheritance and the stories of his 
father's heroism and might led him to adopt the profession 
and develop the abilities of his great father. But Sohrab was 
called into the military service of the Tartars among whom 
he lived, although they were the enemies of Persia. But above 
everything else Sohrab longed to know his hero father. 
Everywhere he was sent he was possessed by only one thought 
and that was to find Rustum. 

One day the Tartars met the Persians by the River Oxus. 
Sohrab gained consent to challenge the Persians to seek out 
their greatest champion to be matched with him in a single 
combat. Because of Sohrab's fame among the Tartars he 
hoped that the Persians would not dare to match him with 
anyone but the mighty Rustum himself. This proved to be 
the case, and not knowing that young Sohrab was his son, 
Rustum was persuaded to take the challenge up, though he 
insisted that he fight unknown. As Rustum watched Sohrab's 
approach he felt a strange liking for this heroic young chal- 
lenger. So slender Sohrab seemed, so softly reared, like some 
young cypress as in the queen's garden, and Rustum 


Beckon'd with his hand and said: 

"O thou young man, the air of Heaven is soft. 

And warm, and pleasant, but the grave is cold, 

Behold me: I am vast, and clad in iron, 

And I have stood on many a field of blood 

And I have fought with, many a foe; 

Never was that field lost, nor that foe sav'd. 

O Sohrab, wherefore wilt thou rush on death? 

Quit the Tartars and come 

To Iran, and be my son 

And fight beneath my banner till I die. 

There are no youths in Iran brave as thou." 

Sohrab heard his voice, 

The mighty voice of Rustum; and he saw 

His giant figure planted on the sand, 

His temple streaked with the first touch of gray 

And he ran forward and embraced his knees, 

And clasp'd his hand within his own and said: 

"Art thou not Rustum?" 

But Rustum feared what the motive of this young man 
might be, that maybe he was being tricked into giving up the 
challenge, and thereby the Persian Lords might be shamed 
through him. So Rustum turned and sternly spake and said: 

"Rise! Wherefore dost thou vainly question thus 

Of Rustum? I am here, whom thou hast calTd 

By challenge forth 

Is it with Rustum only thou wouldst fight? 

Rash boy, men look on Rustum's face and flee, 

For well I know, that did great Rustum stand 

Before thy f abe this day 

There would be no talk of fighting then 

But I tell thee this; 

Either renounce thy vaunt, and yield; 

Or else thy bones shall bleach upon the Oxus sands." 

He spoke: and Sohrab answered, on his feet: 

"Art thou so fierce? Thou wilt not fright me so. 

I am no girl, to be made pale by words. 

Yet this thou hast said well, did Rustum stand 

Upon this field today, there would be no talk of fighting then, 

But Rustum is far hence, and we stand here. 


Begin: thou art more vast, more dread than I, 

And them art prov'd, I know, and I am young 

And though thou thinkest that thou knowest sure 

Thy victory, yet thou canst not surely know. 

For success sways with die breath of heaven. 

And only the event will teach us in its hour." 

He spoke, and Rustum answer'd not, but hurl'd 

His spear: Sohrab saw it come, and quick as a flash 

He sprang aside and the spear 

Hiss-d, and went quivering down into the sand, 

Then Sohrab threw in turn 

And his spear struck Rustum's shield; 

The iron plates rang sharp, but turn'd the spear. 

Then Rustum seized his club, which none but he 

Could wield. 

He struck one stroke; but again Sohrab sprang aside 

And the club leapt from Rustum's hand 

And thundered to the earth. 

And Rustum followed his own blow, and fell 

And now might Sohrab have unsheath'd his sword, 

And pierc'd the mighty Rustum while he lay dizzy 

And on his knees, and chok'd with sand: 

But Sohrab smiled nor bar'd his sword, 

But courteously drew back and said: 

"Thou strik'st too hard. 

But rise, and be not wroth; not wroth am I; 

No, when I see thee, wrath forsakes my soul. 

Thou say'st thou art not Rustum: 

Who art thou then, that canst so touch my soul? 

Boy as I am, I have seen battles too; 

Have waded foremost in their bloody waves, 

And heard the hollow roar of dying men; 

But never was my heart thus touch'd before. 

Old warrior, let us yield to Heaven! 

And plant here in the earth our angry spears, 

And make a truce, and sit upon the sand, 

And pledge each other in red wine, like friends, 

And thou shalt talk to me of Rustum's deeds. 

There are enough foes in the Persian host 

Whom I may meet, and strike, and feel no pang; 

Champions enough Afrasiab has, whom thou mayest fight 

Fight them, when they confront thy spear. 


But oh, let there be peace 'twixt thee and me!" 

He ceas'd; but while he spake, Rustum had risen, 

And stood erect, trembling with rage: his club 

He left to lie, but had regain'd his spear, 

Whose fiery point now in his maiTd right-hand 

Blaz'd bright and baleful 

His breast heav'd; his lips foam'd; and twice his voice 

Was chok'd with rage: at last these words broke forth. 

"Girl! Nimble with thy feet, not with thy hands! 

Curl'd minion, dancer, coiner of sweet words! 

Fight; let me hear thy hateful voice no more! 

Thou art not in Af rasiab's gardens now 

With Tarter girls, with whom thou art wont to dance; 

But on the Oxus sands, and in the dance 

Of battle, and with me, who make no play of war 

I fight it out, and hand to hand. 

Speak not to me of truce, and pledge, and wine! 

Remember all thy valour: try thy feints and cunning 

All the pity I had for thee is gone:'* 

He spoke: and Sohrab kindled at his taunts, 

And he too drew his sword: at once they rush'd together 

And crashing blows Rustum and Sohrab on each other haiTd. 

And you might say that the sun took part 

In that unnatural conflict; for a cloud 

Grew suddenly in Heaven, and dark'd the sun 

Over the fighters' heads; and a wind rose 

Under their feet, moaning swept the plain, 

And in a sandy whirlwind wrapp'd the pair. 

The on-looking hosts on either hand 

Stood in broad dayligjbt, and the sky was pure, 

And the sun sparkled on the Oxus stream. 

But in the gloom they twain fought on with bloodshot eyes 

And labouring breath, first Rustum struck the shield 

Which Sohrab held stiff out; the spear 

Rent the tough plates, but f aiTd to reach the skin, 

And Rustum pluck'd it back with angry groan. 

Then Sohrab with his sword smote Rustum's helm, 

Nor clove its steel quite through; but all the crest 

Was shorn away, and that proud horsehair plume, 

Never till now defil'd, sank to the dust; 

And Rustum bow'd his head; but then the gloom 

Grew blacker; thunder rumbled in the air, 


And lightoings rent the cloud. 
But Sohrab rush'd right on 

And struck again; and again Rustum bow'd his head 
But this .time all the blade, like glass, 
Sprang in a thousand shivers on the helm, 
And in Sohrab's hand the hilt remain'd alone. 
Then Rustum rais'd his head; his dreadful eyes 
Glared, and he shook on high his menacing spear, 
And shouted, "Rustum!" Sohrab heard that shout, 
And shrank amaz'd; back he recoiTd one step, 
And scanned with blinking eyes the advancing form: 
And as he stood bewilder'd; he dropp'd 
His covering shield, and Rustum's spear pierc'd his side. 
Sohrab reel'd and staggering back, sunk to the ground. 
And then the gloom dispers'd and the wind fell, 
And the bright sun brake forth, and melted all 
The cloud; and the two armies saw the pair; 
Saw Rustum standing, safe upon his feet, 
And Sohrab wounded, on the bloody sand. 
Then with a bitter smile, Rustum began: 
"Sohrab, thou thoughtest in thy mind to kill 
A Persian Lord this day, and strip his corpse, 
And bear thy trophies to Afrasiab's tent. 
Or else that the great Rustum would 'come down 
Himself to fight, and that thy wiles would move 
His heart to take a gift, and let thee go. 
And then that all the Tartar host would praise 
Thy courage or 'thy craft, and spread thy fame 
Fool! Thou art slain, and by an unknown man!" 
And, with a fearless mien, Sohrab replied: 
"Unknown thou art; yet thy fierce vaunt is vain. 
Thou dost not slay me, proud and boastful man! 
No! Rustum slays me, and this filial heart. 
For were I matched with ten such men as thou, 
And I were he who until today I was, 
They should be lying here, I standing there. 
But that beloved name unnerv'd my arm- 
That name, and something, I confess, in thee, 
Which troubles all my heart, made my shield to fall 
And thy spear transfix'd an unarmTd foe. 
And hear this, fierce Man, tremble to hear 
My father, whom I seek through all the world, 
The mighty Rustum shall avenge my death!" 


And with a cold, incredulous voice Rustum replied, 

"What prate is this of fathers and revenge? 

The mighty Rustum never had a son.'* 

And, with a failing voice, Sohrab replied: 

"Ah yes, he had! and that lost son am I." 

Sohrab spoke of many things and as he ceas'd he wept aloud, 

Thinking of her who bore him and his own untimely death. 

Rustum listen'd, plung'd in thought 

Nor did he yet believe it was his son who spoke 

Although he calTd back names he knew; 

For he had sure tidings that the babe, 

Which was in Aderbaijan bom to him, 

Had been a puny girl, no boy at all: 

And so he deem'd that either Sohrab took, 

By a false boast, the style of Rustum's son; 

Or that men gave it him, to swell his fame. 

So deem'd he; yet he listenM, plung'd in thought; 

Tears gathered in his eyes as he saw 

His own youth; saw Sohrab's mother, in her bloom; 

And that old King, her father, who lov'd well 

His wandering guest, and gave him his fair child 

With joy; and all the pleasant Me they led, 

They three, in that long-distant summer-time 

And Rustum gaz'd on him with grief and said: 

"O Sohrab, thou indeed art such a son 

Whom Rustum, wert thou his, might well have lov'd! 

Yet here thou errest, Sohrab, or else men 

Have told thee false; 

For Rustum had no son: one child had he 

But onea girl: who with her mother now 

Plies some Hgjit female task, nor dreams of us 

Of us she dreams not, nor of wounds, nor war." 

But Sohrab answer'd him in wrath; for now 

The anguish of the deep-fix'd spear grew fierce, 

And he desired to draw forth the steel, 

And let the blood flow free, and so to die; 

But first he would convince his stubborn foe 

And, rising sternly on one arm, he said: 

"Who art thou who dost defy my words? 

Truth sits upon the lips of dying men, 

And falsehood, while I hVd, was far from mine. 

I tell thee, prick'd upon this arm I bear 


That seal which Rustum to my mother gave, 

That she might prick it on the babe she bore." 

He spoke: and all the blood left Rustum's cheeks: 

His knees totter'd and he smote his hand, 

Against his breast 

And in a hollow voice he spake, and said: 

"Sohrab, that were a proof which could not lie 

If thou shew this., then art thou Rustum's son." 

Then, with weak hasty fingers, Sohrab loos'd 

His belt, and near the shoulder bar'd his arm, 

And shew'd the sign of Rustum's seal 

And then he touch'd it with his hand and said: 

"How say'st thou? is that the proper sign of Rustum's son," 

He spoke: and Rustum gaz'd, and gaz'd, and stood. 

Speechless; and then he utter'd one sharp cry 

"Oboy-thy father!" 

And then a dark cloud pass'd before his eyes, 

And his head swam, and he sank down to earth. 

But Sohrab crawl'd to where he lay, and cast 

His arms about his neck, and kiss'd his lips, 

And with fond faltering fingers strok'd his cheeks, 

Trying to call him back to Me; and lif e 

Came back to Rustum, and he op'd his eyes, 

And they stood wide with horror; and he seiz'd 

In both his hands the dust which lay around 

And threw it on his head, and smirch'd his hair, 

His hair, and face, and beard, and glittering arms; 

And strong convulsive groanings shook his breast, 

And his sob's chok'd him; and he clutch'd his sword, 

To draw it, and forever let Me out. 

But Sohrab saw his thought, and held his hands, 

And with a soothing voice he spoke, and said: 

"Father, forbear. 

I meet today the fate which at my birth 

Was written down in heaven, 

And thou art heavens unconscious hand 

But let us speak no more of this: 

Let me feel that I have found my father, 

Come, sit beside me on the sand, and take 

My head betwixt thy hands, and kiss my dheeks, 

And wash them with thy tears, and say: 'My son!' 

Quick! Quick! for number'd are my sands of life." 

So said he: and his voice released the heart 


Of Rustum, and his tears broke forth; he cast 

His arms round his son's neck, and wept aloud, 

And kissM him, And awe fell on both the hosts 

Because of Rustum's grief: 

Then Rustum said "Sohrab my son, 

I will burn my tents, 

And quit the host, and bear thee hence with me to Seistan, 

And I will lay thee in that lovely earth, 

And heap a stately mound above thy bones, 

And plant a far-seen pillar over all; 

That men shall not forget thee in thy grave. 

And I will spare thy host: 

What should I do with slaying any more? 

I would that all whom I have ever slain 

Might be once more alive; my bitterest foes, 

And those through whose death I won the fame I have; 

That thou mightest live too, my Son, my Son! 

Or would that I myself, 

Might now be lying on this bloody sand, 

That I might die, not thou;" 

He spoke; and Sohrab smil'd on him, and took 

The spear, and drew it from his side, and eased 

His wounds imperious anguish: but blood 

Came welling from the open gash, and life 

Flow'd with the stream; 

His head droop'd low, his limbs grew sla'ck; 

Motionless and white, he lay 

His eyes fix'd lovingly upon his father's face: 

Till all his strength had ebb'd, and all 

Unwillingly his spirit fled away, 

So on the bloody sand, Sohrab lay dead. 

And the great Rustum drew his horseman's cloak 

Down o'er his face 

And father and son were left alone upon the Oxus sands. 

It is thought that the sentiment of this great poem may 
help to develop our own wonderful Father-and-Son rela- 

The Statue of Liberty 

IT HAS been said that a thing is im- 
' portant not only for itself alone, 

but for what it stands for, and what it projects into the lives 
of others. We have a very helpful way of investing a symbol 
with meaning, so that it can present ideas to the mind with 
greater power. For example, a flag in the sky or a light in 
the window or a ring on the finger may have a significance 
to us far beyond the meaning of the actual thing itself. A 
uniform or an insignia of office may lift up our thoughts and 
center them on great principles and ennobling ideals. 

One of the greatest symbols of our world stands on 
Bedloe Island at the gateway of America. We refer to this 
symbol as the Statue of Liberty. It towers majestically over 
the New York Harbor, extending a welcome to all of those 
who seek freedom and equal opportunity in a great, free, 
and divinely established land. The Statue of Liberty repre- 
sents to the world the great ideas embodied in the American 
Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United 
States, and the American way of life. 

All of America and much of the world looks up to this 
great statue as it symbolizes the American purpose with the 
American mission to keep freedom alive in the world. It 
is the mission of America to provide equal opportunity, fair 
play and free agency for all men. The full and official name 
of this "Lady of the Harbor" is "Statue of Liberty Enlighten- 
ing the World." 

This important symbol was presented as a gift to the 
American people on July 4, 1884, by the people of France. 
The statue itself was the creation of Frederic Auguste Bar- 
tholdi, sculptor and fighter for freedom. At the conclusion 


of the Franco-Prussian War in which he fought, he sailed 
for the United States. And as his ship came into the New 
York Harbor, Bartholdi stood on the deck and drew in his 
sketchbook the figure of a great lady holding aloft a burning 
torch as the everlasting symbol of freedom. Its purpose was 
to commemorate Franco-American friendship and to send 
the light of liberty out across all of the lands of the earth 
implanting in the hearts of all men the idea of the liberty 
and brotherhood as it existed in a great, free people under 
a free form of government. 

On Thursday, October 2, 1886 a large welcoming cele- 
bration was given to commemorate this great lady's arrival 
upon our shores. There was a typical New York parade 
formed with 70 bands, and thousands of people with many 
nationalities participating. The flag of the United States 
with its 28 stars floated beside the French tri-color. Bells 
rang, whistles blew, and fireworks were shot in the air. Har- 
bor boats clanged a greeting, and ocean liners signaled their 
salutes, as the Statue of Liberty assumed her permanent 
place of honor at the gateway to America. 

President Grover Cleveland watched the statue being 
placed in position, and then in a welcoming speech said, "This 
token of the affection and consideration of the people of 
France demonstrates the kinship of our two republics, and 
conveys to us the assurance that, in our efforts to commend 
to mankind the excellence of a government resting upon the 
popular will that we still have a firm friend and steadfast ally 
beyond the American continent." 

The statue itself is the largest one ever erected by man. 
The torch rises 305 feet above the base of the pedestal. Eighty 
tons of hammered sheet copper covers the steel base. The 
statue itself is large enough that forty people can stand com- 
fortably in its head, and a long stairway runs through the 
42-foot arm up to the torch held in a hand measuring 16 feet 
5 inches. The index finger is 8 feet long. The length of 


the statue's nose is 4/ feet. The right arm holds aloft the 
great torch which at night gleams abroad with a powerful 
fluorescent light. This historic figure casts its symbolic light 
across the world and many men are guided and inspired by 
its rays. Floodlights shine upon the statue from its base. 
The left arm holds a tablet which bears the date of the Dec- 
laration of Independence July 4, 1776. A crown with huge 
spikes representing the sun's rays rests upon the head. At 
the feet where it is seldom seen, lies a broken chain symbolic 
of the bonds broken by a peace-loving people in their struggle 
for liberty. 

In 1908 a tablet was placed on the pedestal containing 
the sonnet of Emma Lazarus, entitled "The New Colossus/' 
It says: 

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame 

With conquering limbs astride from land to land, 

Here at our sea-washed sunset gates shall stand 

A mighty woman with a torch whose flame 

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name 

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon hand 

Glows world wide welcome; hear mild eyes command. 

The air bridged harbor that twin cities frame. 
Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp! Cries she 
With silemt lips, "Give me your tired, your poor, 
Your huddled masses yearning to be free, 
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, 
Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed to me. 
I lift my lamp beside the golden door." 

America was founded by, and for, those seeking liberty 
and freedom from oppression. And America continues in 
her purpose. Emerson, who has been referred to as Amer- 
ica's spokesman, said, "The office of America is to liberate, 
to abolish kingcraft and priestcraft, to pull down the gallows, 
to take in the immigrants, and uplift all of mankind." 


Again lie said: 

For of what avail 
Is plow or sail 
Or land or life 
If freedom fail 

Through, all our generations, Americans have been in 
the vanguard of freedom. We cherish our national image 
as the citadel of democracy, morality and a living defiance 
of despotism everywhere and at all times. 

In our day the ancient tyranny of enslavement and force 
has reappeared among us in its newest and most insidious 
form called communism. Many peoples have already suc- 
cumbed to this influence. In all countries this new tyranny, 
like those of the past, is abetted by ignorance, poverty, con- 
flict, and a widespread belief that freedom and morality were 
not meant for people generally. 

America remains the world's chief home, and chief hope 
of freedom. A present refusal or inability on our part to 
defend it could demoralize the cause of liberty and justice 
for a thousand years. This would have been quite a different 
world if there had never been a United States of America, 

Prior to July 4, 1776 and in many cases since, the na- 
tional purpose of nations has been and is to dominate. Alex- 
ander and Cyrus, Caesar and Napoleon, Hitler and Khru- 
shchev have all dreamed of world dominion with themselves 
at the head. This philosophy of domination has been openly 
and vigorously proclaimed by communists from the days 
of Lenin down to Khrushchev, Mao and Castro. "It was 
never intended by God that man, created in his image, should 
live with somebody else's foot on his neck or someone else's 
hand over his mouth/* Even before this earth life began 
God decreed that men and women everywhere should be 
free. However, the forces of evil have always sought, some- 


times with considerable success, to overthrow the freedom 
of the world and the free agency of man. 

What a thrilling thing it is to have a part in carrying 
out the divine commission to liberate, to educate, to set 
men free! How appropriate to look up to our national symbol 
and rededicate ourselves to our national responsibility! Every 
good American strengthens the nation. Neither those who 
wrote the Declaration of Independence, nor the patriots of 
our own day are acting for themselves alone, but for the 
whole human race. What a great mistake to think of dedi- 
cation as a sacrifice. Rather we should feel the stimulating 
exhilaration that always comes when devoted effort is applied 
toward the accomplishment of our country's highest aims. 

A little girl was once taken by her father on a visit to 
New York City. The most impressive part of all their 
experience was the trip to Liberty Island. They made the 
long climb to the very top of the statue. But that night after 
returning to their hotel, the little girl could not sleep. When 
her father asked her what the trouble was she replied, "I 
have been thinking of the great lady with the lamp standing 
out there on her island alone. She must get awfully tired. 
Don't you think that somebody should help her to hold up 
her light?" The little girl had a great idea. There are 185 
million somebodies that need to help her hold aloft the lamp 
of freedom and this can best be done by all of us individually 
deserving to be free. 

In one of our most honored songs we sing, "God Bless 
America." What kind of an America do we have in mind? 
Surely not a drunken America nor an immoral America nor 
a shiftless America, nor a godless America. This nation was 
established under God by wise men raised up to that very 
purpose. Freedom itself comes from God. Bondage and 
slavery are the instruments of Satan. No one has a right 
to do wrong. No man can really be free until he chooses to 
do God's will. Seneca once said, "To obey God is perfect 


liberty. He that does so shall be free and all his actions 
shall succeed." 

A degenerate state of morals or a corrupted public con- 
science is incompatible with freedom. No free government 
can be preserved except by a firm adherence to justice, tem- 
perance, frugality and virtue. And the blessings of liberty 
can only be maintained by a constant adherence to the funda- 
mental principles of righteousness. 

If we wish to be free we must love God and serve God 
and be godly. Only as we make ourselves unworthy of God's 
gifts will they be lost to us. The Lord has said, "Abide ye in 
the liberty wherewith ye are made free; entangle not your- 
selves in sin, but let your hands be clean until the Lord 
comes/' (D&C 88:86.) Again he said, "Wherefore hear my 
voice and follow me, and you shall be a free people." (D&C 
38:22) "I the Lord God make you free, therefore, you 
are free indeed." (D&C 98:8) 

". . . Governments were instituted of God for the benefit 
of man; and . . . [God] holds men accountable for their acts 
in relation to them, both in making laws and in administering 
them, for the good and safety of society. . . . No government 
can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held 
inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise 
of conscience, the right and control of property, and the pro- 
tection of life." (D&C 134:1-2) 

We can be sure that our prayers will be answered if, 
when we sing "God Bless America/' it is a righteous, godly 
America on which his blessing is sought. Nations in the 
past have fallen only when they have forgotten God. We 
will lose our promised blessings if we mislay our national 
purpose, or go to sleep while our Founding Fathers' dream 
of American destiny is taken from us. We who live in this 
choice land might well feel a kinship to the ancient Israelites 
who were also chosen of God for a holy experiment on a new 


soil, where righteousness and free agency were its cardinal 

We should also set up in our own lives something akin 
to a Statue of Liberty, thereby keeping ourselves from be- 
coming enslaved individually. Political slavery is not the 
only dangerous variety. We can be enslaved by sin. We 
can lose our freedom to negative attitudes. We can be taken 
prisoner by our own bad habits. We can bind ourselves 
with our own ignorance. Epicetetus said, "No man is free 
who is not master of himself/' 

Jesus gave us the best formula when he said, "Ye shall 
know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." The 
way to freedom for the mind is to know the truth, and the 
way of freedom for the soul is to live righteously. 

The world needs a free America. The world needs a 
righteous America. The world needs a purposeful America 
made up of godly citizens, each doing his part to hold up 
the torch of freedom. 

To this end may God bless America and may God bless 

The Sword of Damocles 

IN 400 B.C. the ancient city of Syra- 
' cuse in Sicily was ruled by a fa- 
mous king named Dionysius. One of the prominent members 
of his court was called Damocles. Damocles was one of those 
interesting folks who could always see the greener grass on 
the other side of the fence. He was always talking about 
what a great job Dionysius had in being king. According to 
Damocles, the king had everything to make him happy. He 
had power, security and a soft life without the worries that 
bothered other people. 

Then one day the king gave Damocles a magnificent 
banquet. Damocles was seated in the place of honor at the 
king's right hand. He was given the recognition of royalty, 
regaled with gifts, provided with the finest entertainment and 
served the best fare in the kingdom. Nothing was lacking, 
and Damocles was making the most of it with his friends. 
But in the midst of his great enjoyment Damocles looked up 
and saw that a naked sword was suspended directly above 
his head, held in place by a single hair. Damocles knew that 
any false move could cause the sword to fall and slice him in 

The king used this visual aid in trying to teach Da- 
mocles and the other members of his court that there were 
also some hazards going along with the responsibilities of 
kingship. He felt that Damocles should know that a king's 
job consisted of something more than attending banquets, 
giving orders, and having fun. And many kings have lost 
their thrones as well as their heads merely because they made 
a few mismoves. It is not the easiest thing in the world to be 
a king in any field. If one desires a high place in life he 


should not only be prepared to pay the price but he must 
also learn to shoulder the responsibility. 

It is one of the laws of existence that as the rewards of 
life get bigger, the size of the problems are also increased. 
Someone has said, "The higher up the mountain you go the 
harder the wind blows." 

No matter what one's field may be, the king is usually 
required to do the most work, pay the biggest price, and be 
the most careful. This ancient banquet took place in Syra- 
cuse over 23 hundred years ago, but the experience of Damo- 
cles has lived through the ages because everyone who gets 
very close to the king row of success, usually finds a sword 
or two hanging over his head. And it doesn't take very many 
wrong moves to break the thread and bring the sword of 
consequence down upon him. Incidently there is a post- 
script attached to the Damocles story to the effect that the 
hair that held up the sword was one that Dionysius had found 
on the tunic of Damocles which he recognized as belonging 
to the queen. This may indicate that there had already been 
some false moves that were responsible for the sword hanging 
over the head of Damocles in the first place. 

But, be that as it may it seems that the times have not 
changed very much, as there are still some problems and a 
lot of swords hanging over our heads, just waiting for some- 
thing to happen. It is also still true that those that enjoy the 
greatest privileges, and sit in the places of greatest responsi- 
bility, must also be the most careful of mismoves. This idea 
is illustrated by the story of a prize fighter who wanted to be 
the king of the heavyweights. The path leading to this 
particular accomplishment took him into the ring with the 
great Jack Dempsey. The contest hadn't gone very far be- 
fore the fighter complained to the referee that Dempsey had 
hit him when he wasn't looking. The referee said, "No one 
has any business being in the fight ring with Jack Dempsey 
who doesn't pay attention." And whether our problem comes 


from the left hook of a prize fighter or from our own sins, or 
from the way we handle our responsibilities, we had better 
pay attention, for any of these mismoves are likely to break 
the only hair that can keep the sword of Damocles from 
severing us from our future. 

We should remember that if we are going to maintain 
our place among the champions we had better keep on our 
toes and be able to look out for ourselves. Even the referee 
can't protect our jaws if we are looking in some other direc- 
tion when the blow lands. And besides, if we plan to win the 
battle of life and sit in the king row of success, we had bet- 
ter stay on the job and keep our eyes on the ball. 

The biggest job that anyone ever has in his life is that 
of building his own personal success, and that is pretty diffi- 
cult unless we always keep our wits about us. We can de- 
pend upon it that seen or unseen there are some swords 
hanging around over our heads held in place by some very 
fragile connections which can be easily broken. 

We might get some good ideas for ourselves by taking 
a few notes from some of those around us, who are having 
their success destroyed by this Damoclean process. The 
boom is being lowered on someone every day for some rea- 
son. For example, I know of a very intelligent young sales- 
man who is capable of being the president of his company. 
In his first few years he looked like a sure winner, but he be- 
came so hungry for praise and so anxious for promotion that 
he became a little careless with the truth and a little neglect- 
ful of his own honor. He began taking a few out-of-bounds 
privileges with morality. He didn't actually mean to do any- 
thing bad; he just got too interested in short cuts. 

Because he was irritated with the restraints his company 
imposed upon him, he changed companies, but he didn't 
change himself, and his carelessness increased, because of 
what seemed to him like his immunity from consequences. 
To him his success was apparent and the king row was in 


sight. But once he had removed the boundary line between 
right and wrong he didn't quite know where to stop and he 
finally got to the point where he himself was unsure of what 
was right and what was wrong. He successfully covered up 
some of his misdeeds for a while, and he fully intended to 
make everything right in the end after he had become the 
king. Then these little misdeeds would no longer be neces- 
sary, and it seemed to him that the end justified the means. 
But once when he wasn't paying attention a wrong move 
broke the hair, and with great finality down came the sword. 
My friend is now licking his wounds in the state penitentiary. 

Dishonesty is a Damoclean sword that hangs over the 
head of every individual. Sometimes we do wrong and then 
compound the felony by attempting concealment. Phillip 
Brooks once said, "Beware of concealment. ... It is an awful 
day in one's life when he has to hide something." But no 
matter how well a thing may be hidden, there is always some- 
one who can spot the telltale hairs of wrong, gathering on our 
tunics. When the hair is broken, the jig is up. Concealment 
is a process far too complicated for anyone to carry on with 
safely. As has been said, "Oh, what a tangled web we weave 
when first we practice to deceive/' 

Another Damoclean sword is complacency. One of the 
best ways to make a false move is to just sit still. With an at- 
tempt at combining humor and truth someone was once prais- 
ing a certain church group. He said, "They don't lie, they 
don't steal, they don't cheat, they don't smoke, they don't 
drink, they don't go to church, they don't pay their tithing, 
they don't say their prayers." Without sufficient works the 
Damoclean sword always strikes to kill our faith. 

I know a young man who several years ago was prob- 
ably the most promising church man that I had ever known. 
He worked very vigorously in doing his duty. He was al- 
ways conscientious in doing what was right. He was coura- 
geous and enthusiastic and his strong desire to succeed was 


supported by a vigorous, well-planned industry. The fact 
that he was intelligent, faithful and on his toes indicated that 
he had tremendous future possibilities. The roadway ahead 
showed great promise, and the spiritual king row was in 
clear view. Of course, his excellence soon began to bring him 
great honors and high praise and as with so many other peo- 
ple this diverted his attention, and little by little the dry-rot 
of complacency began to do its deadly work. The ability 
which he had developed, his new-found confidence in him- 
self, and the honor that people lavished upon him encouraged 
him to relax his drive while he enjoyed his success. He was 
now sitting right in the middle of the king row. He got the 
same idea held by Damocles that once you were the king, any 
success became almost automatic. But no success comes as 
a permanent endowment. Success must be continually won. 
Instead of acting like a king and doing twice as much work 
as anybody else, he made the same mistake that dozens of 
others have made. He let his ego become so inflated that 
it choked off his industry. He believed that any failure was 
now practically impossible. He subscribed to the old doc- 
trine, that "the king can do no wrong." Like King Nebu- 
chadnezzar he said to himself, "Is not this great Babylon, 
that I have built ... by the might of my power, and for the 
honour of my majesty?" But, soon the great sword of Damo- 
cles had cut him in two. 

The story is told of a great wrestler who, while he was 
not as strong as some others, won many wrestling matches 
against stronger men by a rather questionable stratagem that 
life sometimes employs against us, When the other wrestler 
nearly had him down, he would reach up and pat the near- 
champion on the back. The wrestler on top, thinking that the 
referee was giving him the decision, would relax his hold and 
turn off his effort. Then it was a comparatively easy thing 
for the other wrestler to exert his greatest effort and win the 
match. That is, before his opponent knew what was hap- 
pening he would find his back on the mat and the prize lost. 


That is what complacency often does to us. This was the 
trick that fate played on King Nebuchadnezzar. The king 
had built up the greatest empire ever known in the world. 
He was the mightiest monarch on the earth. Then life be- 
gan patting him on the back and he thought that he had 
won the fight on a permanent basis. But as soon as he 
relaxed his hold he found that he had lost his kingdom. He 
was driven from among men and ate grass like the oxen. 

Nebuchadnezzar learned by sad experience that the bat- 
tle is never permanently won. He learned that the Damo- 
clean sword is always in its place just waiting for someone to 
make a few mismoves. 

Some of the results of our personal defects are about as 
devastating as if the sword had actually cut our heads off. 
Certainly our brains are of little use when complacency gets 
control of our muscles and our personality. Then we try to 
be leaders without leading. We try to have faith without 
works. We try to have success without merit. For these rea- 
sons a great number of failures and successes are trading 
places every year. Someone has said that we should be very 
considerate of those we pass on our way up to success, as we 
may pass them again on our way down. In any event we 
should remember that a pat on the back is not necessarily 
the signal to turn off the effort. The one thing that we may 
be sure of is that no king ever stays in the king row for very 
long if he doesn't stay on the job and keep pitching. As a 
nation we have found that a little bit of complacency can 
easily bring the threat of a total destruction down upon our 

There is a moving picture going around showing how 
by their sins some of the ancients living in Sodom and Gom- 
morah brought fire and brimstone down from heaven upon 
themselves. Sin always does that to nations and to indi- 
viduals. Every sin is a Damoclean sword. And life can be 
pretty cruel both here and hereafter to those who violate the 


laws of righteousness. Whenever we violate the laws we had 
better be prepared to pay the penalties. One of the disturb- 
ing things about life is that very few reach their goals in 
safety. Just think of the large numbers who intend to get a 
college education or try for success in one of the occupations 
or in life itself; as compared to the very few who are ulti- 
mately successful. Jesus pointed out this hazard in its most 
significant aspects when about the greatest of all prizes in 
life he said, "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which 
leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 
7:14) And yet any of us can be outstandingly successful in 
anything we undertake if we just fully follow the rules. Of 
course, it is a good thing to keep in mind that only those who 
endure to the end shall be saved. And we can't make too 
many false moves along the way. It has been said that en- 
durance is the fifth principle of the gospel. As important 
as the other principles of the gospel are, none of them amount 
to very much without endurance. We must learn to hang 
on to the end. And as we work our way toward success, 
like the prize fighters and the kings and those seeking eter- 
nal life itself, we had better pay attention, for we usually 
lose our crowns either because we aren't on our toes, or we 
make some mismove, or quit our training, or lose our in- 
dustry, or make love to the wrong kind of ideas. Then we 
break the thread of our success and bring down the Damo- 
clean sword of failure upon ourselves and we may even miss 
the greatest of all prizes, which is to find a permanent place 
for ourselves in the eternal king row. 

The Ten Commandments 

ONE OF the most important of all of 
the great world movements was 

set in motion 3,400 years ago. The posterity of Abraham, 
Isaac and Jacob, who for many years had been held in Egyp- 
tian slavery, had just been released from their bondage. With 
a great demonstration of power the Lord had brought them 
out of Egypt under the promise to make them the greatest 
nation in die world. And they were now awaiting the Lord's 
direction at the foot of Mount Sinai in the desert of Arabia. 

To assure the success of this project, it was necessary 
that a clear understanding of the fundamental principles in- 
volved be had by all the parties concerned. To make sure 
that there was a complete meeting of the minds, God called 
Moses up to the top of Mount Sinai and explained what the 
people must do in order to reach the high destiny that had 
been marked out for them. Moses then went down and pre- 
sented the Lord's program to the people, and they unani- 
mously accepted it. They indicated their enthusiasm for 
making a covenant with the Lord to keep all of his com- 
mandments. Then at the proper time God descended to 
the top of Mount Sinai and to the accompaniment of light- 
nings and thunders gave them that law which if followed 
would make them the most successful and the most happy 
people upon the earth. They were to be an outstanding 
generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. 

As the central part of this law, God wrote Ten Command- 
ments on tables of stone. These ten fundamental principles 
have been held up as the basic law of the world ever since. 
During these 34 past centuries, the world has undergone great 
changes. The camel no longer serves as our primary means 
of transportation. Systems of communication, processes of 


manufacture, and methods of warfare have been radically 
modified. Most text books on science that are even a few 
years old have been discarded as obsolete, and yet the im- 
portance of these fundamental, timeless laws themselves are 
as completely up-to-date today as they were 34 centuries ago 
in that far-away Arabian desert. Obedience to these laws 
represents our world's greatest present need. 

When Moses came down from the Mount and saw his 
people dancing around the golden calf, he became angry 
and broke the tables containing the commandments. But in 
our day of weakness and transgression, we are breaking the 
commandments themselves; though in a more real sense, as 
pointed out by Cecil B. DeMille, we cannot break the Ten 
Commandments, we can only break ourselves against them. 
No proof is required in our day that we are fulfilling the 
scriptural declaration "that all have sinned and come short 
of the glory of God." 

It is unnecessary for anyone to point out our degradation 
to us. Our sins are plainly manifested in every town and 
hamlet throughout the land. We see the evidences of our 
delinquency and crime all about us. Our sins are reported 
in the daily press. We hear them announced over the radio, 
and when we meditate a little we can feel the sting of our 
own reproving conscience. 

It has been said that in all probability there is not one 
person who does not break every one of the Ten Command- 
ments. For example, in the sixth commandment God said, 
"Thou shalt not kill." But Jesus reminds us of the larger 
concept of this law by saying neither should we hate. He 
made it clear that a person who gives himself over to anger 
is already committing a sin. The murderous hand is always 
impelled by the hateful heart. It is true that there are many 
who have never committed the gross murderous deed of 
actually destroying life itself, but who is free from the sinful 
approaches that must always precede the actual dagger 


thrust? The law provided a severe penalty for the visible 
act, but the gospel rebukes the evil passion that leads to it 
by first setting the thought to motion. 

Likewise the law forbade the awful sin of adultery. But 
Christ pointed out that the sin actually began with the lustful 
glance, the sensual design, and the evil thought by which it 
was supported. How God must hate this unnatural, soul- 
destroying emphasis presently being placed upon sex! We 
are feeding our minds and stimulating our passions with this 
poisonous fruit of sin as we find it on the newsstands, in the 
movies and in our own evil inclinations. The violation of 
this great commandment both in the spirit and in the letter 
is presently ruining the sanctity of thousands of homes, and 
causing the spiritual decay of tens of thousands of individ- 
uals. Satan clothes his goddess of lust as an angel of love 
to lead away our souls. Jesus pointed out that it was better 
to go through life blind than to have eyes devoted to seeing 
evil. He said it were better to have our hands cut off than 
to use them to work iniquity. 

No nation can ever be great unless it keeps these statutes 
given from the top of Mount Sinai 3,400 years ago. 

During the Civil War someone inquired of Abraham 
Lincoln if he didn't think the Lord was on our side. Presi- 
dent Lincoln replied that he was not so much concerned 
about whether or not the Lord was on our side. What he 
wanted to know was whether or not we were on the Lord's 
side. We never need to worry very much about whose 
side the Lord is on. He is on the right side, and we can 
always be certain that he will be on our side if we are always 
on his side. 

One of the reasons that we are so frequently on the 
wrong side is because we fail to recognize or will not ac- 
knowledge wrong itself. Some time ago a minister pointed 
out that some of our forefathers walked through the world 
haunted by their sins and tormented by their fears of the 


judgment. Then with an apparent sense of relief he said 
that these things didn't bother us much any more. We have 
eased our consciences by merely failing to recognize our sins. 
Instead of worrying about improving our lives we merely 
refuse to acknowledge the transgression. 

This attitude of irresponsibility so prevalent in our world 
is represented by the answer a young woman from Pennsyl- 
vania gave to the reporters of Look Magazine who were con- 
ducting a survey on this subject. When asked if she thought 
she was doing wrong in a particular thing she said, "Who 
am I to say what is right or wrong?" So many people say 
that sin is a part of the times, and that the individual is not 
to blame. We say it doesn't matter what we believe, that 
we are all going to the same place anyway. We feel that 
one belief is as good as another, that one set of activities is as 
good as another, and that one religion is as good as another. 

Although these are popular beliefs, they are the doc- 
trines of evil. It matters a very great deal what we believe. 
One religion is not as good as another. Falsehood is not 
as good as truth. We are not all going to the same place. If 
we were, we might just as well scrap the scriptures, forget 
all moral considerations, and turn the calendar of history back 
to the Dark Ages. The most serious problems have always 
resulted when nations or individuals have lost their sense of 
sin, and this particular hazard is one of the most destructive 
evils of our own day. 

In spite of their overwhelming importance, we do not 
like to think or talk about our sins. And if we do speak of 
them, we usually modify the meaning of the term so that it 
will not offend us. We refer to our sins as experience or as 
something of little consequence for which we have no indi- 
vidual responsibility. However, we cannot reduce the deadli- 
ness of a poison merely by changing the label on the bottle. 
Throughout the scriptures God probably talks as much about 
sin as about any other thing. He has said that it is tremendous- 


ly destructive. Instead of saying that it doesn't make any differ- 
ence, he has said, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Ez. 
18:4) That is plain enough and forceful enough that every- 
one should be able to understand it. 

There is a very dangerous so-called psychology that says 
that the way to develop oneself is to give expression to one's 
feelings. Some say that parents should not say "no" to their 
children for fear of dwarfing their spirits or inhibiting their 
personalities. They say that desires should be expressed, not 
suppressed. If a child feels like slamming the door, he should 
slam it, otherwise he might become inhibited. For the same 
reason, if one feels like sowing some wild oats, he should 
sow them. They say we only live once. We should shoot 
the works. They say "live it up," "eat, drink and be merry, 
for tomorrow we die/' Though popular in some places, this 
is the philosophy of death. Such attitudes have caused more 
crime and misery than all of the wars in history. In fact, 
this is the attitude that has caused the wars themselves. It 
also causes sin, crime, death and eternal misery. 

The people who are afraid of becoming inhibited by 
curbing their sinful inclinations should remember that God 
is the same yesterday, today and forever; that he hates all 
sin and that no one is permitted to violate his law without 
placing a serious demerit upon his own soul. 

The murders described in our daily newspapers are just 
as sinful as the murder of Abel by his brother Cain. The 
sex perversions on which we are fed by the radio, the movies 
and the magazines are only modern-day copies of those sins 
for which God rained fire and brimstone upon Sodom and 
Gomorrah. We are horrified when we read of the deadly 
transgressions of Noah's day. But Jesus himself pointed to 
Noah's time as the period most resembling our own. We 
should occasionally take a careful look at our own situation. 

It has been said that in some of our modern-day house- 
holds the word "father" has come to mean a person with 


a highball in one hand, a cigarette in another, and spiritual 
indifference in his heart. We may try to pass these things 
off with a shrug, yet five million alcoholics with millions of 
other people on their way to becoming alcoholics represents 
a lot of sin for our great Christian nation. But the worst 
of our problem is that our trend in the use of alcohol, tobacco, 
delinquency, crime and immorality are headed in the wrong 
direction and pointed upward at an alarming angle, 

It is our solemn duty to remind ourselves that all of 
our accounts with God must some day be settled, even though 
the conditions may not be to our liking. The same inspired 
scripture that proclaims the wonders of heaven also describes 
the tortures of hell and the abject misery involved in eternal 
banishment from the presence of God. Ten thousand years 
from today we will all be living somewhere, and right now 
is the time given to us to determine where that place will be. 
The important questions of our lives will be answered by how 
obediently we listen to the voice of God coming down to us 
out of the thunders and lightnings of Sinai, saying: 

1. Thou shalt have no other gods; before me. 

2. Thou shalt not make unto me any graven image. 

3. Thou shalt not take tih.e name of the Lord thy God in vain. 

4. Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy. 

5. Honor thy Father and thy Mother. 

6. Thou shalt not kill. 

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. 

8. Thou shalt not steal. 

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness. 
10. Thou shalt not covet, 

We must never weaken the influence of these great com- 
mandments by thinking they are negative or in bad form. 
One of the first and most important steps in any success is 
to get our minds definitely settled about those things that 
we must never do under any circumstances. Only when these 
decisions have been made once and for all, ai# we in a posi- 


tion to enthusiastically go to work on those things that we 
should do. Neither should we smart under the positive, 
authoritative form in which these commandments were given. 

One man once said that this harsh word "commandment" 
should be modified to some word like request or suggestion. 
But we will never get very far until we love God's word as 
he gave it. Certainly he has not left us in any doubt as 
to exactly where he stands. And on this point, Dr. Henry 
C. Link says, "Nothing does so much to put order into a 
man's life as do sound principles. They are worth more than 
a library full of books or a den decorated with diplomas. 
Principles and standards clarify and simplify our thinking. 
They are points of reference which help us to avoid com- 
plexity and confusion. They rescue us from the necessity 
of prolonged and useless debate. They give us a base for 
decision and action. 

Suppose then that we set these ten great laws up in our 
hearts and accept them as the unchanging will of God. 
When we determine to live by their every word we will 
also be "a chosen people." And may we take full advantage 
of the power of these great laws to this end. 

The Time We Save 

ECENTLY i read a very provocative 
article about a certain distin- 
guished Chinese gentleman visiting in this country. Among 
other things, he was shown through the new home of a well- 
to-do American friend. He was very interested in what he 
saw and listened attentively as the many labor-saving devices 
were explained to him, and he was told about the saving in 
time that they made possible. After the tour was over the 
guest said to his host, "And what do you do with all of this 
time that you save?" 

That is a pretty good question and one that everyone 
should give some attention to. It has often been pointed out 
that more than about anything else, the quality of our lives 
is determined by what we do in our free time. We now save 
one-half of the time formerly spent in earning a living. Mod- 
ern transportation has saved us a lot of time in getting from 
one place to another. The fact that our food is produced by 
giant machinery and then pre-mixed, packaged and delivered 
to our door saves us more time. 

Even our life expectancy has been increased from 35 
years in George Washington's time to 48 years in 1900 and 
to 70 years in our day. That is, in the first part of this century 
22 years has been added to our lives. This brings us back 
again to the important question of how are we using this 
extra time. 

Following are four suggestions that may be helpful. 
First, it is thought that we might well spend a little more 
of this saved time reading good books. By and large we 
are not as well informed about some of the important things 
in life as we should be. Someone has said that "The great 


American Desert is not west of the Mississippi as was at 
one time supposed, but it is underneath the hat of the average 
man/' A little of this desert condition has also gotten into 
our hearts and spirits. This in spite of the fact that one of 
the most profitable, pleasant and inexpensive of all the forms 
of entertainment and personal uplift may be had in absorbing 
the helpful ideas of our great literature. There is a source 
of tremendous wealth easily available to us in books. And 
how could one more pleasantly or profitably close each day 
than to spend an hour in a comfortable chair with a good 

It has been recommended that we read with a pencil in 
hand, so that we can write down our own ideas in the book's 
margins. A book may be extremely valuable for the ideas it 
contains but it is sometimes even more valuable for the things 
that it stimulates us to think about. Once your own thinking 
processes have been set in motion, don't be in too big a hurry 
to get back to the book. Follow your own ideas at least until 
you discover where they are leading you. Let them stimulate 
your resolutions and as they do, write your notes in the book's 
margins or on its blank pages. 

Some of the primary uses of books are to help us to think, 
make decisions, and take action. When the particular thought 
you are following has been exhausted, go back to the book 
and take up where you left off. High speed in reading may 
be all right under many circumstances, but there are times 
when we should proceed carefully and let the ideas thor- 
oughly infiltrate our minds. Reading furnishes us a good 
opportunity to plant new seeds of thought and establish prof- 
itable springboards for action. How wonderful when some 
of our wisest men are willing to spend a lifetime in writing 
a great book we may absorb in a few hours! 

Sometime ago there was a prominent radio program en- 
titled "You Were There/' In imagination, this program took 
you back to some actual scene of great significance while you 


relived that important event. And if you are a good reader, 
"You Also Are There/' you can refeel and relive the greatest 
ideas, you can march with Napoleon or sail with Columbus, 
or converse with Socrates, or study with the Prophets, or 
live with Jesus. You can absorb the best from the greatest 
lives. If you feel that you can't spare an hour for such an 
employment, check on how much time you spend watching 
television or just doing nothing at all. 

Not long ago a man told me that during the last five years 
he had not read a single book. That would have been un- 
fortunate even in the Dark Ages, but it is stark tragedy in 
this great age of wonders and enlightenment that we know 
as the dispensation of the fulness of times. 

Another tragedy is seen in the case of a fine young woman 
who recently dropped her education upon completion of 
high school. Her parents have tried to urge her to go to 
college but she just isn't interested. Night after night she 
watches television and is completely missing the thrill hope- 
lessly awaiting her in an enlightened mind. Her mind and 
soul are being starved for the great mental and spiritual 
nourishment that is going to waste right under her nose. 

What a calamity to see the pores of a human mind 
close so tightly that the spirit is forced to live in the darkness 
of spiritual night! 

Suggestion number two is that some of this time that we 
have saved can profitably be spent in memorizing choice bits 
of philosophy, scripture, poetry, etc. It is a well-established 
fact that a great deal of our success is put together by that 
part of the mind that lies below the level of consciousness. 
Many of the things that we do, like walking, talking, eating, 
etc., are carried on by the subconscious mind with very little 
conscious effort on our part. This is also the source of some 
of our most enlightening flashes of inspiration, we are also 
powerfully influenced by the ideas and ideals that are under 
the control of the subconscious mind. Recently a friend told 


me about some advice given to him by his father when he was 
just a boy. He had accepted the idea without question and 
it had become such an important part of him that it now gov- 
erned his life. In fact, every part of him would rebel even 
at the thought of going contrary to this philosophy that had 
become so well established in his character. 

This general situation reminds us of an interesting sight 
sometimes, seen at sea, where the winds, the waves and the 
surface ice were moving in one direction at the very time 
and place that a great iceberg is sailing serenely in the oppo- 
site direction. This phenomenon is explained by the fact 
that the motion of the iceberg is controlled by the powerful 
currents in the ocean's depths where the bulk of the iceberg 
is based. This same kind of a phenomenon operates in our 
lives. In fact, the mind has often been compared with an 
iceberg, 80% of which lies below the water level. Sometimes 
the influence on the surface of life may prompt us to do one 
thing. But the control of our lives is based in the depths 
of our souls where early training, well-established ideals and 
fundamental character qualities and even our training in our 
pre-earth life gives us the power to sail against the wind. 
What then could be more important than to use this power 
below the water line by memorizing wise sayings, inspiring 
poems, helpful bits of philosophy, and powerful scriptural 

I know of one man who keeps a valuable collection of 
these gems of thought in well-ordered idea books. Then he 
writes some of them out on cards and carries them with him 
and commits them to memory while he is waiting, or walk- 
ing, or traveling. We can even memorize the words of God 
himself and store up his attitudes in our souls to give us this 
power in depth and direction. 

The third recommendation for profitably spending a 
little of this time we have saved is in the development and 
effective use of our imaginations. Someone has said that the 


greatest gift that God has given to man is an imagination. 
The human imagination was given to man for a very good 
purpose and is like a great beam of light searching the skies. 
Like a giant radar beam, it penetrates every field and when 
properly directed it always brings back to us some valuable 

I know of a man who has been remarkably successful 
in his business and personal life. He always has the best 
ideas and the most up-to-date methods operating in his busi- 
ness and his life. He never seems to overlook anything. 
Many people have asked him how he thinks up all of these 
good ideas. He appears to them to be a genius, but he 
merely formed the habit of setting aside thirty minutes each 
evening devoted to imaginative research. This is when he 
sums up his day's work and tries to determine where he 
has made his mistakes and how they can be corrected for 
the future. This is the period when he makes his plans for 
tomorrow and sends his mind out on an expedition of dis- 
covery to explore every possibility of success. 

During this thinking and planning period he sits alone 
and centers his mind on his objective. He asks himself 
searching questions trying to determine whether or not he 
is overlooking any opportunities, and, if so, what they are. 
What is he doing wrong? And how can they be corrected? 
He tries to determine if there are any new procedures that 
he should be introducing into his business or into his life. 
We place ourselves under a severe handicap when we fail to 
develop our powers of imagination. Many books have been 
written containing suggestions as to how to use the imag- 
ination so as to make money, to strengthen personality, to 
increase happiness and to save the soul. 

The last and most important of these recommendations 
as to the use of the time we have saved is to use it in wor- 
shipping God. The fundamental purpose of life is to build 
greatness into human beings. Recently I received a letter 


from a man in his eighties. He has worked hard all of his 
life. He is probably worth ten million dollars. His life has 
always stood for honor and he has tried to build character 
into other people. He said, "I am an old man. I have wit- 
nessed the folly of people neglecting their Christian faith 
while practicing dishonesty, immorality and laziness." He 
said, "I want to see people practice only goodness, fairness 
and the other Christian virtues." What a thrill it is to see 
a really great Christian, a really great human being with 
the qualities of godliness firmly established in his soul. Food, 
clothing, and other necessities of life are important, but of 
what good is even ten million or ten billion dollars except 
as it can be used to build the only real values, which are 
human values? 

All good comes from God. And by our worship we 
can build a kinship with him that will make us like him. 
To this end, God has set aside one day per week or one- 
seventh of our total allotment of time while on this earth to 
be spent in his worship. He has set aside the first day of each 
week as a day of study and prayer, and planning and right- 
eousness. This is the day when we get the philosophy of 
the scriptures down into our subconscious minds and give 
them the power to guide us to God! What a tragedy when 
we desecrate this day and pervert its purpose to profane uses! 
Sometimes we are so anxious for more time that we appro- 
priate the Sabbath Day to be used for making money, or for 
fishing or hunting, or recreation. Sometimes people lacking 
in basic righteousness sail with the surface winds directly 
against the word of the Lord. They rationalize themselves 
into believing that their lives will be just as productive and 
happy if their Sabbaths are spent out in the mountains or 
at the lake. Some use the Sabbath Day as a time to get 
drunk. They say it relaxes them and they like the feeling 
that comes as a consequence. But we may be sure that the 
family that goes to church and fulfills the Lord's require- 


merits for the Sabbath will be a better kind of family than 
the one that desecrates the Sabbath for their own pleasures. 

One of the first steps in our search for immortality is to 
learn how to use the time of the Sabbath Day. Even with 
the additional 22 years of extra time we have been given, 
and counting all the time that we have been saved by our 
inventions and gadgets, our supply is still exhaustible. But 
these four recommendations if followed will greatly increase 
the effectiveness of our lives, and that is the one thing that is 

The Trojan Horse 

I IOMER was a blind Greek poet who 
' lived in the ninth century B. C., 

and wrote the great epic poems known as the Iliad and the 
Odyssey. The first of these great literary classics tells the story 
of the Trojan War, which began when Paris, a Trojan prince, 
eloped with Helen, the wife of Menelaus, king of Sparta. 
To get Helen back, Menelaus enlisted the support of several 
kings of neighboring Greek states. Among them was the 
great Greek warrior, Agamemnon, king of Mycenae, and 
brother of Menelaus. This aggregation sailed a thousand 
ships across the Agean Sea, and laid siege to Troy, a large 
and well-fortified walled city near the Hellespont. 

The Trojans were noted for their industry and ability as 
warriors. They successfully resisted this overwhelming Greek 
force for ten years, and it appeared that they would be able 
to hold out indefinitely. One thing was certain, and that 
was that they were safe as long as they kept the Greeks out- 
side their walls. 

On the other hand, ten years of failure had seriously 
demoralized Greek courage, and they were about to pack 
up and go home. But one of the Greeks by the name of 
Prylis had an interesting idea about how they could win 
the war. Following the strategy of Prylis the Greeks built 
a giant wooden horse, and into the hollow interior they hid 
a large number of heavily armed Greek soldiers. Then the 
rest of the Greeks got into their ships and sailed out of sight 
of Troy as though they were giving up the siege. However, 
they left one Greek behind them, who told the Trojans that 
this giant horse was built under the direction of the war 
goddess Athene, and that it had a magic power with an 


evil significance for the Trojans. As long as tliis great horse 
stood outside the walls of Troy it would bring continual mis- 
fortune to the city. He told the Trojans that the Greeks 
had purposely built it large to make it impossible to get 
through their gates. It was pointed out, however, that if 
in some way the Trojans were successful in getting this magic 
horse inside their city it would lose its power to harm the 
Trojans. Instead it would then bring them good fortune 
and stand as their guarantee from the gods that Troy could 
never be captured. Therefore, in order to thwart Greek 
strategy, the Trojans took down a section of their wall and 
dragged the giant horse inside the city. Then they held a 
great feast to celebrate their good fortune. 

In the meantime a signal was flashed to the Greek ships 
waiting at sea. The main army returned in the middle 
of the night. Then the hidden Greeks came out of the 
wooden horse, overpowered the Trojan guards, and opened 
the city gates to the conquest-hungry Greek soldiers. Once 
the Greeks were inside the city walls, the intoxicated, cele- 
brating Trojans were helpless in their hands. The city was 
robbed of its treasures. The great men of Troy were slain 
and the city itself was burned to the ground. Menelaus got 
his wife back, and with their job done the Greeks loaded 
their ships and set sail for home. 

In the first place, this is a very interesting story. In the 
second place, it is about as good an example of military 
infiltration or fifth-column activity as we know anything 
about. But probably more important than either of these, 
it serves us with a very interesting parallel for our own 
accomplishment. Life has always been a kind of battle. 
The Apostle Paul said, "We wrestle not against flesh and 
blood, but against principalities, against powers, against 
the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual 
wickedness in high places/* To help us protect ourselves 
he said, "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, 
that ye may be able to ... withstand in the evil day." (Eph. 


6:12-13) Paul knew that we would be safe only if we could 
keep the evil outside our walls. 

There is no question but that the powers of darkness 
are presently laying a life-and-death siege to our lives. So 
far as we are concerned everything, including eternal exalta- 
tion itself, depends upon the outcome. The Trojans held 
out against the combined strength of one of the greatest 
group of warriors ever known in the world for just as long 
as they could keep them outside their walls, whereas the 
city fell in a single night once the enemy got its fifth-column 
inside the gates. 

This strategy of infiltration always has and always will 
be the most effective way of overcoming an enemy. This 
is the source of the present success of communism. When 
the original communist leaders first announced their plans 
to dominate and enslave the world they were weak and few 
in number. They were then unable to launch any kind of a 
successful frontal attack against those they proposed to con- 
quer. Even today they carefully avoid any use of military 
strength except when their advantages are so overwhelming 
that there is no possibility of defeat. Yet with almost no 
actual fighting they have brought under their dominion and 
control a very large part of all of the peoples of the earth. 
They have won this tremendous victory by getting their fifth- 
columnists not only inside our gates but also inside our 

But this technique is not new to the communists. Homer 
wrote about it nine centuries B. C. Then in 538 B. C., Cyrus 
the Persian captured the almost all-powerful city of Babylon 
by this same process. Babylon had prepared herself in every 
way to indefinitely resist the force of any aggressor. But 
while King Belshazzar was giving a feast to a thousand of 
his lords making them drunken with wine, Cyrus was a few 
miles north of the city turning the river Euphrates from 
its course, which ran under the walls of Babylon. Then 


Cyrus marched his army into the city on the empty river- 
bed and overthrew the most powerful world capital, without 
the loss of a single soldier. 

This technique has also been used successfully by Satan 
since time began. And it is still the process by which the 
eternal destruction of people is brought about. The ruler 
of darkness knows all of the tricks of infiltration and he 
knows that if he can first get his soldiers inside our gates, 
everything else will be easy. 

If we could analyze the records of those who have gone 
or will go to their destruction down that broad, heavily 
traveled road mentioned by Jesus, we would certainly find 
that very few of us are ever destroyed by any force from 
the outside. Every case of spiritual downfall is an inside 
job. God never forces anyone to do right, and Satan has no 
power to force anyone to do wrong. We fall only when we 
first open our gates to evil and give the enemy a control in 
our lives. Every individual could hold out indefinitely 
against any frontal attack that could be launched by all of 
the powers of sin and evil put together. We go down in 
defeat only when we relax our guard and close our eyes to 
the evil that lies hidden inside some beguiling Trojan horse. 
And once Satan gets his fifth-column inside our gates, then 
like the Trojans and the Babylons we frequently go to our 
doom without even a struggle. For example, no one is ever 
forced by someone else to become a drunkard. If someone 
tried to compel us to live the life of an alcoholic, anyone in 
his right mind would and could resist with complete success. 
But that isn't how the attack comes. The adversary first 
sends out his propagandists, like the single Greek left behind 
at Troy for that purpose. Satan sends us to the movies or 
gets us to read the glamorized liquor advertisements, and 
we see the supposed pleasures of drinking and imagine the 
fun we could have pouring this poisonous stuff down our 
throats. The Greek that is left behind helps us to think 


that drinking will help to make us successful and happy. 
Then we tear down the protecting walls of our sense of 
right and wrong and drag this pleasant, many-advantaged, 
Trojan horse of alcohol inside our lives. Then in the middle 
of the night, its belly is opened and we are overpowered by 
the armed soldiers of immorality, irresponsibility, and every 
other kind of sin that is hidden inside of what Robert G. 
Ingersol refers to as "that damned stuff called alcohol/' 

But Satan has a far greater number of Trojan horses 
than the Greeks ever thought about. He has a Trojan horse 
to fit every situation. For example, ignorance is a Trojan 
horse, and the worst ignorance is that ignorance that is con- 
scious of no ignorance. So many people go through life with 
very little study or prayer or meditation or attempt to make 
up their minds about objectives or standards or what the 
real values in life are. God is far wiser than we are, yet 
we leave his word untouched and see little that is of value 
in the holy scriptures. A survey recently indicated that most 
people own a Bible but almost no one ever reads it effec- 
tively. Thirty-four percent of all of those interviewed could 
not give the name of even one of the Gospels. What a 
shameful ignorance and what a terrible loss it brings upon 
us! God has given to the world this tremendous philosophy 
of success that we refer to as the gospel of Jesus Christ, 
through which, if we will, we can save our souls. Dozens 
of people have borne testimony to us about God and truth, 
but mostly we don't even investigate. Rather we hang on 
to our ignorance for dear life. 

Like alcohol, the Trojan horse of ignorance is made to 
look very attractive. It offers us freedom from spiritual 
effort, freedom from making moral decisions, freedom from 
problem-solving, and freedom from an accusing conscience. 
For these glittering inducements we drag this destructive 
Trojan horse inside our walls. Then its belly opens, releasing 
spiritual incompetence and the failure to understand the very 


purpose of our lives. With ignorance in control our faith 
never develops, our attitudes become distorted, and our lives 
miss the objectives of eternal exaltation. The Lord himself 
said, "No man can be saved in ignorance/' That is, no man 
can be saved who has this Trojan horse inside his walls, for 
then he has the soldiers of apostasy, negative attitudes, and 
lack of understanding continually attacking this spiritual 
vitality and destroying his chances for eternal life. 

Every kind of sin is a Trojan horse. Sin breaks down 
the walls of morality, faith, integrity, religious standards, per- 
sonal ideals, and ethical considerations. We cannot afford to 
tolerate wrong practices or partial truths in our lives. There 
is a very good reason why no sin is permitted in the presence 
of God and there is an equally good reason why none should 
ever be tolerated inside our gates. 

The Trojan horse of sin has in its belly dozens of evils 
which when turned loose upon us leaves us no chance for 
success. The soldiers of sin afflict us with a guilty conscience, 
a bad reputation, destructive internal moral conflicts, and 
causes us to lose our own self-respect. 

A man once applying for a job wrote in his application 
that he had quit his previous employment because of illness. 
"What kind of illness?" asked the interviewer. The applicant 
replied, "The boss got sick of me/' That is a common com- 
plaint of our present day. Not only do we make others 
sick with our evil, but we get sick of ourselves. We might 
try to imagine what it would be like to have God get sick 
of us. 

There are a lot of other Trojan horses outside our walls 
waiting for an opportunity to get in. As long as we keep 
them outside we are safe. As long as we are only exposed 
to a frontal attack from an enemy that we can see and 
understand, we can make ourselves invulnerable. But when 
these forces of damnation are made to seem so pleasant that 
we start the wrecking crews tearing down our protecting 


walls, then we never know what unseen enemy soldiers will 
run a knife into our backs, killing our success 

We should not be misled by the fact that some of 
these dangers seem small to us. It is one of life's impos- 
sibilities to keep the problems of sin small once they get 
on our insides. We should remember that it was just a 
little handful of Greeks that sent the great city of Troy into 
oblivion. It is good to remind ourselves occasionally that 
Babylon, the strongest power of the ancient world, vanished 
overnight without the loss of one of the attackers. Our eter- 
nal glory may be similarly destroyed, for once the wrong 
influences get a toe-hold inside our fortifications, we never 
know what evil will be pouncing upon us. 

One of the best ways to keep the Trojan horses of Satan 
outside our walls is to avoid being deceived by the propa- 
gandists that are left behind for that purpose. Then we 
should work like Trojans, doing those things that will keep 
our inside fortifications strong and safe. Joseph Addison 
once gave a great success formula to his friend. He said: 

Tis not for mortals to command success, 
But we'll do more, Sempronicus, 
We'll deserve it. 

That is a great idea and it will guarantee our eternal glory. 

The Same Jesus 

AA ANY years ago someone published a 
' V * picture Bible, in which it was 
attempted to make the great scriptural messages more mem- 
orable by presenting them in visual form. Our natural tend- 
ency is to see things more clearly when they are presented 
in pictures. Mere ideas are often too abstract for the mind 
to deal with effectively 

One of the visual portrayals in this interesting Bible 
was a colored picture of the ascension. It showed the res- 
urrected Jesus standing in the air above the Mount of Olives 
as he was ascending to his Father. And standing slightly 
below the master were two angels dressed in white clothing. 
Over the years I have drawn great strength from the thrilling 
ideas represented by this picture. Christ's ascension to 
heaven marked the end of an important period. He had fin- 
ished one part of the work assigned to him in the grand 
council of heaven. He had organized the church and had 
left ordained apostles to carry on its work. He had taught 
them the doctrines of salvation and had given them the 
Priesthood with the power to bind in heaven what they did 
on earth. He had shed his own blood to pay the penalty of 
our sins. Then in the last words spoken just before his 
ascension, Jesus said to the twelve, ". . ye shall be wit- 
nesses unto me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and 
in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth." 

The ascension picture is completed by the interesting 
scriptural statement which said, "And when he had spoken 
these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a 
cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked 
stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men 


stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men 
of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same 
Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come 
in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven/' (Acts 

During the second World War, I added another impres- 
sive mental picture to my collection. This one shows Gen- 
eral Douglas MacArthur about to take flight from Corregidor 
under the military pressure of Japanese conquest. To those 
who were forced to remain behind General MacArthur said, 
"I shall return/' I like to imagine the hope that this promise 
must have brought to the people of the Philippines during 
those long months in which they awaited their liberation 
from the bondage of the Japanese. They knew that Mac- 
Arthur would not forget They knew that just as soon as 
possible he would come back to set them free and punish 
their oppressors. His promise may have had more than 
ordinary significance to me, inasmuch as some of the mem- 
bers of my own family were among those awaiting Mac- 
Arthur's return. They hid in the hills, until they were cap- 
tured and sent to a Japanese concentration camp in Manila. 

The General's promise to return must have had a dis- 
turbing significance for the invaders themselves, for they 
must have known that MacArthur would never rest until 
they had been driven from the islands, or annihilated during 
their resistance. This **I shall return" picture was given its 
happy ending some two years later, when the General's 
promise was finally and fully kept. 

However, the world still awaits this more significant 
"I shall return" promise that had been made some nineteen 
hundred years earlier from above the Mount of Olives. It 
is very important to remember that the Savior of the world 
was only bidding the earth and its people a temporary fare- 
well. Many times before his death, he himself had foretold 
his own glorious second coming to judge the world. 


On that last Tuesday before his death on Friday, Jesus 
had been teaching his followers about his second coming. 
Near the end of the day he left the temple and led the twelve 
across the Mount of Olives. As he sat down to rest near 
the summit his disciples said to him, "Tell us, when shall 
these things be, and what shall be the sign of thy coming, 
and of the end of the world?" (Matt. 24:3) Then Jesus 
told them of the wars and contentions that should charac- 
terize the last days, and as one of the important signs that 
should precede his second coming he said, "And his gospel 
of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a wit- 
ness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matt. 

As the people of the Philippines waited their liberation, 
they probably wondered whether or not General MacArthur 
had the ability to fulfill the conditions involved in his promise 
to return. There are also a great many in our world who 
discount both the possibility and the probability of the sec- 
ond coming of Christ. Yet we may be certain that God 7 s 
program has never been abandoned and will not be forgotten. 

In those last sad hours just prior to his death, Jesus said 
to his disciples, "Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe 
in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many 
mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to 
prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place 
for you, I ttiill come again, and receive you unto myself; 
that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:1-3) What 
a thrilling, frightening thought when we understand the con- 
ditions under which he will come again! And what tremen- 
dous consequences are involved in the message of ascension 
day! As the resurrected Son of God stood there between 
the heavens and the earth, holy angels from God's presence 
made a firm promise, that he would personally return. The 
angels said, "This same Jesus . . . shall so come in like manner 
as ye have seen him go. . . ." 


Since ascension day, some nineteen wide centuries have 
come and gone and many important events have taken place. 
Tradition has it that with one exception, the apostles that 
Jesus appointed to carry on his work were all subjected to 
violent deaths. The report has it that Peter, Philip, Simon 
and Andrew were crucified; James and Paul were beheaded; 
Bartholomew was flayed alive; Thomas was run through with 
a lance; James, the son of Alphaeus, was beaten to death; 
Thaddaeus was shot through with arrows; Barnabas was 
stoned; Matthew was slain with a battle axe in Ethiopia, and 
Mark was dragged to death in the streets of Alexandria. Then 
John, the sole survivor, was banished to the lonely isle of 
Patmos in the Aegean Sea. Jesus had built his church upon 
the foundation of apostles and prophets. When the founda- 
tion was destroyed, the building crumbled. In time what 
had once been a divine organization became merely human 
institution. The great Christian doctrines were misinter- 
preted, the ordinances were changed, the authority was lost, 
the apostasy grew, and the world slipped gradually into the 
long black night of the Dark Ages. Then some said that the 
heavens were forever sealed, that the canon of scripture was 
full, and that no voice from God would ever again be heard 
upon the earth. The spirit of those who crucified Christ, 
destroyed his organization and disbelieved his doctrines, still 
have a numerous following among us. 

One of the most serious problems of our present world 
is that there are so many people who disbelieve in a Supreme 
Being. To some, man is the highest authority and the great- 
est intellect in the universe. Others believe that God has 
gone out of business and that the last words that we will 
ever hear from the Savior of the world were spoken at the 
ninth hour of that awful Friday afternoon, when from Cal- 
vary's cross the dying Christ said, "It is finished/' The last 
memory that some have of their Redeemer pictures him 
hanging upon the cross. The world has been flooded with 
the crucifix, but Jesus did not remain upon the cross. Some 


remember him lying in the garden tomb of Joseph of Arima- 
thaea, but Jesus did not remain in the tomb. Nothing in 
the scriptures could be plainer than the fact that the life of 
Christ did not begin in Bethlehem, neither did it end on 
Calvary. He said, "I came forth from the Father, and 
am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to 
the Father." (John 16:28) In his prayer in Gethsemane 
while contemplating his own death he said, ". . . And now, 
O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the 
glory which I had with thee before the world was/* (John 

Long before our earth was created, Jesus lived and 
ruled with his Father as a part of the presidency of the 
universe. Under the direction of the Father he was the 
Creator of the earth. In the first chapter of Genesis, God 
is recorded as saying, "Let us make man in our image, after 
our likeness/' The use of these plural pronouns indicates 
that the Son also took part in the creation. But even then 
he was no novice as a creator. In one of the great revelations 
given to Moses and revealed anew in the latter days, God 
said, "And worlds without number have I created . . . and 
by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten." 
(Moses 1:33) 

We think of greatness partly in terms of what it has 
already accomplished, and partly in terms of what it prom- 
ises for the future. As I rerun my mental picture of ascension 
day, I like to think of the Redeemer in terms of his tremen- 
dous background. Not only had he created worlds without 
number, but in his pre-mortal existence he was that mag- 
nificent personage of great authority and power known in the 
scriptures as Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 
He was the first begotten Son of God in the spirit, and was 
chosen to be the Savior of the world because he was the best 
qualified for that important calling. Then, as a part of his 
own progression, he took upon himself a body of flesh and 


bones, and became the only begotten Son of God in the flesh. 
There are those who even seek to deprive God of his body. 
Many do not believe in their own resurrection, but next to 
the human spirit the human body is the most marvelous of 
God's creations. If the body was not necessary, God would 
never have created it in the first place. If it were not neces- 
sary for eternity, God would never have instituted the res- 
urrection. If a body was not necessary for God the Father, 
certainly there would have been no reason why God, the Son, 
should have been resurrected. The spirit and the body in- 
separably connected constitutes the soul. The spirit could 
never be perfect without the body. There can never be a 
fullness of joy until the spirit and the body are inseparably 
joined together. 

The resurrected, glorified Jesus, like Elohim, his Eternal 
Father, has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's. 
(D&C 130:22) When Jesus appeared to the eleven, after 
his resurrection, they were frightened and supposed that they 
had seen a spirit. Jesus corrected them by saying, "Behold 
my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and 
see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." 
(Luke 24:39) Jesus did not lose his body after his res- 
urrection. It did not evaporate in some mysterious way, 
neither did it expand to fill the immensity of space. Jesus 
had his body as he ascended to his Father from the Mount 
of Olives, and the record is perfectly clear that he will still 
have that same body when he comes in glory to judge the 

In addition to the information given in the Bible we 
now have some new evidence of universal importance which 
has been given to the world on this subject in our own day. 
In the early spring of 1820, in upper New York state, God 
the Father and his Son Jesus Christ reappeared upon the 
earth to re-establish among men a belief in the God of 
Genesis, a belief in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, 


and a belief in the God of Mount Olivet. The Prophet Joseph 
Smith describes his part of this experience by saying, "I saw 
two Personages whose brightness and glory defy all descrip- 
tion, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto 
me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other . . . 
This is my beloved Son. Hear Him." (Joseph Smith 2:17) 
Then there followed the great message of the restoration. 

The same Jesus who healed the sick and walked upon 
the waves has spoken again in our day, and has reaffirmed 
the fact that he is still interested in our success. The same 
Jesus who said to his disciples, ". . . Go ye into all the world, 
and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth 
and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall 
be damned." (Mark 16:15-16) This same Jesus has in- 
formed us anew that he has not changed his mind about the 
importance of this and the other great Christian doctrines. 

The same Jesus who upon the Mount of Olives said, "and 
this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world 
as a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come," 
has, under the direction of his Father, restored that gospel, 
in preparation for that day. He himself looked forward to 
that day saying, "For the Son of man shall come in the glory 
of his Father with his angels; and then shall he reward every 
man according to his works." (Matt. 16:27) What a tre- 
mendous day that will be! That is also the day foretold 
by Malachi, who said, "For behold, the day cometh that shall 
burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do 
wickedly shall burn as stubble; for they that come shall burn 
them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither 
root nor branch." (Joseph Smith 2:37) That tremendous 
event is fast approaching and we must work while it is called 
today, for the night cometh, wherein no man can work. 

I would like to bear to you my personal witness that 
God has not gone out of business; that the heavens are not 
sealed, that the Redeemer of men has not forgotten his prom- 


ises, nor is he any less interested in our welfare now than 
when in Gethsemane, and upon Mount Calvary he suffered 
for our sins. And in conclusion I would again like to take you 
out to the sacred top of the Mount of Olives, and again hear 
the angels say, ". . . This same Jesus, which is taken up from 
you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have 
seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11) May the importance 
of this event challenge us to be ready. 

Thou Shalt Not Covet 

IN THE tenth commandment the 
' Lord said, "Thou shalt not 

covet/' The dictionary says that to "covet is to long inordi- 
nately for something that belongs to someone else/* It is 
an overdose of selfishness or an excess of avariciousness. The 
covetous person lives more or less as though the world was 
intended only for him. 

The first sin recorded in the Bible after the fall of man 
was centered in covetousness. The first verse of the fourth 
chapter of Genesis tells of the birth of Cain. Cain's mother 
was delighted with her new-born son and said, **. . . I have 
gotten a man from the Lord." The second verse tells of 
the birth of Cain's brother, Abel, and gives his occupation 
as a keeper of sheep, whereas Cain was a tiller of the ground. 

"And in process of time, it came to pass, that Cain 
brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. 
And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock, and 
of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel 
and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had 
not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance 
fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? 
and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt 
thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth 
at the door. . . . And Cain talked with Abel his brother: 
and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain 
rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him." (Genesis 
4:1-8) Then Cain gloried in that which he had done say- 
ing, ". . . surely the flocks of my brother falleth into my 
hands." (Moses 5:33) 

There are only six brief Bible verses separating the 
announcement of Cain's birth from that of his eternal con- 


damnation as the first murderer. How quickly this little sin 
of covetousness changed his life! After his sin had run its 
course God said to Cain, "Where is Abel, thy brother? And 
Cain said, I know not. Am I my brother's keeper?" 

Cain's experience points out the pattern usually followed 
by evil. One sin leads us on to another, and more serious sin, 
until we may pass the point of no return. A little selfishness 
gave Cain a bad attitude and made his offering unacceptable. 
Avariciousness grew within him until he could not resist the 
temptation offered by his brother's flocks, and thus he was led 
on to the awful sin of murder. But even this was not the 
end. In trying to cover up his terrible deed, Cain tried to 
deceive God. What a tremendous price everyone must pay 
when even a little covetousness is allowed to sink its deadly 
roots into our souls to start this chain reaction. As the poet 
has said: 

Oh what a tangled web we weave, 
When first we practice to deceive. 

We begin weaving a tangled web the minute we break 
any of God's commandments, for in one way or another they 
are all tied up together, and when we violate one, we involve 
ourselves in the danger of other violations. Yet, it is very 
probable that most of our crimes are born of covetousness. 
Many forms of evil grow out of our desire to get something 
for nothing. Most of the stealing, lying, cheating, deceiving 
and even killing takes place because we long inordinately 
for something that doesn't belong to us. Covetousness also 
tends to cause the death of character, ability and creative- 
ness. The boy who covets instead of working, or longs for 
the things he hasn't earned, or the man who seeks an in- 
crease of pay without increasing his effort is actually wasting 
the time and resources that might otherwise be used in creat- 
ing his own wealth. Covetousness curtails the very habits 
that produce wealth. Most people expend more effort in 
going to hell than it would take to get them to heaven. If 


Cain had merely given his effort a little different direction, 
he could have had a fine attitude, offered an acceptable sac- 
rifice and made himself an outstanding and successful man. 
We can also create great material and personal wealth with 
the effort we use up longing for those things that belong to 
someone else. 

In the 12th chapter of Luke we read of one man saying 
to Jesus, ". . . Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the 
inheritance with me. And Jesus said unto him, Man, who 
made me a judge or a divider over you? And he said unto 
them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's 
life consisteth not in the abundance of things which he pos- 
sesseth." A great many of us appoint ourselves to be dividers 
of the goods of others. We have an equal need to beware 
of covetousness, as it can easily wreck our lives here and 

We should all understand the declaration of Jesus that 
life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. 
One of the greatest of all success formulas says, "Seek ye 
first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these 
things shall be added unto you." (Matt. 6:33-34) It is good 
to covet if we covet the right things. Paul said, "Covet 
earnestly the best gifts." (I Cor. 12:31) He said, "Covet 
to prophesy and forbid not to speak with tongues." (I Cor. 
14:39) These good gifts were intended for us and only good 
can come from their possession. Jesus' warning was against 
selfishness and those things that destroy our souls. 

In spite of the fact that "covetousness" is so deeply 
involved in our present-day problems, yet this destructive 
little word has practically disappeared from our present-day 
vocabulary and conscious thinking. However, it is still pres- 
ent in our activities and destroys the good things of our 
lives. A good measure of covetousness is at the root of all 
of our wars, crime and sin. Anyone who reads the daily 
newspapers is aware of the constant effort on the part of 


both nations and individuals to get possession of things that 
belong to someone else. We like to receive favors even 
though we render none. Nations, like individuals, like to 
borrow money but they seldom like to pay their bills. Strong 
nations gobble up weak nations. In our own land, political 
leaders try to outdo each other in finding new shortcuts to 
the more abundant life that requires no effort. Cities, states 
and even churches sometimes conduct lotteries as a means 
of raising money. The popularity of the slot machine bears 
testimony of our insane hope to get something for nothing. 
A drive was recently launched in the great state of Idaho 
attempting to legalize gambling, even though it would mean 
corrupting the people and destroying much that is best in 
any community. Chain letters and other lunatic programs 
have reached proportions that classify them as a major 
phenomenon of our time. 

Sometimes we say that our economic system has broken 
down. It is not the system that has broken down, rather our 
human character has disintegrated under our desire to get 
something for nothing. The speculative mania causing dis- 
turbing booms, busts and lack of confidence in our economy 
grows out of our frantic attempts to produce the more abun- 
dant life by a political sleight-of-hand performance. The 
desire to get something for nothing is the dominating cause 
of our stock market upsets. It also brings us a false security, 
unreasonable installment buying and the constant specter of 
a destructive inflation. 

On a national scale we are speculating in unsound prac- 
tices of social welfare, social security, horse races, lucky 
numbers, old age pensions, and other devices calculated to 
produce wealth for a particular group without work on the 
part of the recipients. We have over-emphasized the Ameri- 
can standard of living and under-emphasized the American 
standard of character and the sound religious principles on 
which morality is based. Cain was setting the short-cut pat- 
tern to wealth by killing his brother and taking his flocks 


by force. We have made some refinements in our procedures 
since Cain by using the ballot box to get our brother's prop- 
erty. We merely vote ourselves into prosperity, and a more 
abundant life. However, instead of calling the procedure 
covetousness, we use such phrases as "the redistribution of 
wealth." We tax "the haves to pay the have-nots." We 
assess the "wills" to provide for the "won'ts." We make 
social security laws, build up relief rolls, and do many things 
for special classes to be paid for by the money taken from 
someone else. Of course taxation is entirely proper in many 
ways, but we should beware how we exercise our office of a 
divider of other men's goods, for many of our programs are 
based on covetousness and the insidious popular appeal to 
get something for nothing. Someone said that if the Found- 
ing Fathers thought taxation without representation was bad, 
they should see what it is like with representation. 

It seems that we are becoming more and more reluctant 
to accept the old-fashioned virtues of thrift and individual 
responsibility under which both character and wealth are 
most effectively created. In its many guises what has been 
called the redistribution of wealth has often been a more 
potent political slogan than a program involving the creation 
of wealth. 

We had an interesting demonstration of this a few years 
ago when it was reported that ten million people had enrolled 
under the Townsend banner with demands for immediate 
pensions and other benefits to be paid for by someone else. 
The importance of this philosophy in our minds is indicated 
by the fact that when someone wins a quiz program or a 
sweepstakes to which millions of others have made contri- 
butions, we make an event of national importance out of it 
and give it a big play in the newspapers, glamorizing it with 
pictures and stories. And yet many people fail in life because 
of their preoccupation with this kind of success. Probably 
more people today suffer from the delusion that the world 
owes them a living than at any other time. They claim the 


good things of life as a right. And somehow we feel it is 
a little unfair if we are asked to work for what we get. Even 
the great Church welfare program has had great difficulty 
in teaching people the importance of their own labor as a 
basis for their daily bread. 

Very largely covetousness destroys our sense of respon- 
sibility and obligation. And the evil traits that grow in their 
places sometimes makes us as Cain, unfit to live successfully 
and happily either in this world or in the next. It is a great 
ability to be able to see in advance the consequences of this 
important sin. Unfavorable situations almost always arise 
when we have too many things done for us. Then we fail 
to develop the habits of doing things for ourselves. When 
we covet the wrong things we set influence in motion that 
prevents us from developing the abilities to get the right 
things. Like Cain, we can start a chain reaction that even- 
tually leads us to destruction. 

The government can easily pauperize its citizens by 
doing too much for them. There have been occasions when 
even those on government relief have gone on strike for 
higher pay. Suppose that we make a list of troubles that 
we can bring upon ourselves by indulging in covetousness. 
Parents and schools often weaken the children by indulging 
them. Parents indulge themselves. The politicians indulge 
the people. The people indulge each other. There are so 
many easy material advantages in our day that conspire to 
make our lives easier and our characters weaker. The idea 
of something for nothing always works against our own 
interests. As Oliver Goldsmith has written: 

111 fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, 
Where wealth accumulates and men decay. 
Princes and lords may flourish or may fade, 
A breath can make them as a breath has made. 
But a bold peasantry, their country's pride, 
When once destroyed can never be supplied. 


The condition that makes effort unnecessary or the atti- 
tude that makes it seem undesirable often does us an ir- 
reparable harm. The sins of the father's prosperity and 
the bad attitudes that sometimes come from inherited wealth 
are often visited upon the children, and the children's children 
under the third and fourth generation. The children of poor 
parents who have good attitudes toward life usually start out 
with a tremendous advantage in the struggle for character. 
And one of the most important aids to our success is to learn 
the lesson taught by the Lord from the top of Mount Sinai 
when he said, "Thou shalt not covet." He said, "Thou shalt 
not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy 
neighbour's wife, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neigh- 
bour's." (Exodus 20:17) And that includes thy neighbor's 
job, his home, his personality and his opportunity. 

The safest way to success is to follow the Lord's pro- 
gram and seek first for the kingdom of God and his righteous- 
ness, then all other necessary things are added. Things al- 
ways follow talents. We need only develop the talents, and 
the things will follow. But when we covet the things first, 
we destroy the talents, which in turn make the things possible. 

In his inaugural address, President Kennedy gave us a 
good anti-covet procedure when he said, "Fellow Americans, 
ask not what your country can do for you, but rather ask 
what you can do for your country/' Our primary concern 
should be what we can do for others, not what they can do 
for us. It is always more blessed to give than to receive. It 
is always better to serve than to covet. The abundant life 
comes not from the things that we get, but from the things 
that we give. And giving helps us to avoid the awful sin, 
and giant evil of covetousness. 

The Unknown Cod 

"T~HOMAS CAKLYLE once pointed out 
that a man's religion is the most 

important thing about him. That is what he believes in and 
thinks about and fights for and lives by. Of course, all true 
religion centers in God, and makes up our relationship to 
him. To know God and to obey his commandments is the 
most important responsibility of our lives. And as has often 
been pointed out, the greatest difficulties of our present-day 
world come because of false religion. When we live by wrong 
principles, we develop wrong attitudes and attain wrong 

Some time ago a survey indicated that 95% of all Ameri- 
cans believed in God ? but a very small percentage had any 
clear conception of the kind of God they believed in. One 
woman included in the survey said "I don't know what God 
is. I haven't given it very much thought/' Her neighbor 
said, "I believe God is something existing somewhere, but 
I don't know very much about him/' One church officially 
describes its God by saying, "There is but one living and 
true God who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure 
spirit, invisible, without body, parts or passions, immutable, 
eternal, and incomprehensible." How can one believe in 
something that he can never hope to understand, or what 
advantage could possibly be derived from a belief in a mys- 
terious, incomprehensible, impossible God? 

One prominent minister recently expressed himself by 
saying, "It is impossible to know about God. He is absolutely 
unknowable, indiscernible and undiscoverable. He is not 
limited to boundaries, and we can be certain that he has 
no body or shape/' According to Jesus, that would make 
salvation impossible, as he said, "This is life eternal that they 


might know thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom 
thou hast sent/' This minister says it is impossible to know 
about God. Then he proceeds to say that God has no body 
or shape. How did this minister discover this if God is 
undiscoverable? This same minister said, "God is one per- 
son, but is manifested in three persons/' He said, "Don't 
ask me to explain it, I can't. It is impossible for me to explain. 
It is impossible for me to understand. I can only believe." 
No wonder that such a belief does not produce the same great 
power that characterized original Christianity. 

Great harm is done to many people when their religion 
encourages them to abandon their reason and take refuge in 
the argument that they can't understand. How inconsistent 
to live in this great scientific age where we are flapping our 
wings for travel into space, and at the same time say that 
we can't understand. The Gospel of Jesus Christ was de- 
signed to be understood by the most unlearned of those living 
twenty centuries ago. God has made personal appearances 
on several occasions, and Jesus and the prophets have out- 
lined the Christian doctrines with, such great clarity that 
"even a fool need not err therein." To describe God as a 
formless, shapeless, sexless, incomprehensible mass without 
body, parts or passions, reminds us of the declaration of one 
who said, "I believe in the dogmas of the church, in spite 
of the fact that they are absurd." 

Inasmuch as we were created in God's image, how 
would you personally like to fit the sectarian specification 
so often used to describe God? So many people speak of 
the Creator only in terms of what he is not. They say he 
does not have a body, a form, dimensions, faculties, feelings 
or personality. How much more helpful to have him de- 
scribed in terms of what he is! To further add to our diffi- 
culty, many theologians confine God to the past tense. They 
say there can never be any more revelation, that God's lips 
are forever sealed, and that eternal silence must reign for- 
ever so far as God is concerned. This false religion says 


that all revelation is in the past, that angels no longer min- 
ister to men, that no more messages of truth can ever come 
from God. What a hopeless situation to imagine that God 
has gone out of business in the very time that we need him 

Mr. Khruschchev has subscribed to a false religion, but 
he came out forthrightly and closed up the churches. In his 
opinion, God's retirement left the communist leaders as 
the highest authority in world affairs. It has been false 
religion that has caused every one of the world calamities, 
including the flood, the confusion at Babel, the crucifixion 
at Calvary, plus all the wars and sins of history, including 
those of our own day. 

The Apostle Paul found a false religion in operation 
when he visited Athens. The city was completely given over 
to idolatry. The people had erected images to every con- 
ceivable kind of deity and had created a theology to match. 
Paul said to them, "Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all 
things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld 
your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO 
THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly 
worship, him declare I unto you/' (Acts 17:22-23) 

Then trying to make them understand, Paul quoted one 
of their own poets as saying that they were the offspring of 
God. Paul reasoned that inasmuch as they were God's off- 
spring, they ought not to think that God was like these man- 
made creations that they had set up. What a difference it 
would make if we all accepted Paul's logic that the offspring 
should sometime become like the parent. 

It is a very serious thing in any age to believe in false 
gods or subscribe to a false religion. God talked with Moses 
face to face and said, "Thou shalt have no other gods before 
me/' If God was offended by the graven images of Moses* 
days, how disturbed he must be when we deprive him of his 
body, deny his faculties and personality, and then destroy 


his reality itself by saying that he is merely an influence or 
an eternal principle, or something that we need not be con- 
cerned about because no one can understand him anyway! 

One minister said that no two theories or ideas of men 
agree. He said that most of the popular ideas about God 
are products of someone's imagination, and he said, "Your 
guess is as good as anyone's." 

If these popular ideas about God are accepted, then we 
are still at the feet of the unknown God. How could this 
formless., shapeless, incomprehensible mass, reason, or speak, 
love, teach, rebuke, show anger, or beget offspring, How 
could any reasonable person accept such as the Father of 
Jesus Christ, or the all-powerful Creator of the universe and 
our own worshipful Heavenly Father? Certainly we would 
not expect the parent to be less than the offspring. If the 
Father is incomprehensible and fills the universe, if he has 
no body, parts or passions, how do we account for the fact 
that the children do not fit this description? Think how 
difficult it would be to believe in any person without boun- 
daries, or without a body, or without parts or passions. Or 
try to determine how he could be benefited by believing 
in a God who was incomprehensible and impossible. 

A young man once said to an older friend, "I don't 
believe in God. I am an atheist." His friend said, "Will 
you describe the kind of God that you dont believe in?" 
The young man gave the usual sectarian description. His 
friend said, "If that is a proper description of God, then I 
am an atheist also." 

Then the older man tried to do for his young friend 
what Paul attempted to do for the Greeks on Mars' Hill when 
he said, "Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare 
I unto you." God is a person in whose image man was 
created. He is not merely an essence, or an agent, or a 
force, or a shapeless mass. He is not a thing, and should 
never be referred to as an "ft* 


God is the greatest intelligence in the universe and he 
has endowed us with his potentialities. The Book of Genesis 
clearly tells us of two creations. In Genesis 1:27 we read, 
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God 
created he him; male and female created he them." But in 
the second chapter of Genesis we read, "Thus the heavens 
and the earth were finished, and all the host of them . . . but 
there was not a man to till the ground/' (Gen. 2:1-5) In 
the second chapter we are told of the second creation as fol- 
lows: "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the 
ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and 
man became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7) 

This double creation is explained by the fact that the 
first was the creation in heaven when our spirits were formed 
in God's image. The second creation was when our bodies 
were created in the exact image of our spirits. The writer of 
Genesis says that even the plants were first created spiritu- 
ally. He said, "And every plant of the field before it was 
in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew." 
(Genesis 2:5) 

In a modern revelation the Lord makes this passage 
complete by saying, "And every plant of the field before 
it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it 
grew. For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I 
have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon 
the face of the earth. For I, the Lord God, had not caused 
it to rain upon the face of the earth. And I, the Lord God, 
had created all the children of men; and not yet a man to 
till the ground; for in heaven created I them; and there was 
not yet flesh upon the earth, neither in the water, neither 
in the air; . . . and I, the Lord God, formed man from the 
dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath 
of life; and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon 
the earth, the first man also; nevertheless, all things were 
before created; but spiritually were they created and made 
according to my word." (Moses 3:5-7) 


What a thrilling doctrine that we are literally of the 
same species as God, our Heavenly Father, and what a dis- 
service is the false religion that says otherwise! Suppose 
that some of those who say that God is unknowable had 
confronted Moses as he came down from the Mount where 
he had talked with God face to face and had said to him, 
"No one can possibly know about God." Or suppose such 
a one should have said to Jesus that God was merely an 
influence that no one could understand, that he had no body 
of his own, or that he was diffused throughout the area of 
many billions of light years making up the immensity of 
space. Or supposing that these people had said to Jesus that 
his Father was merely an eternal principle. If the Creator 
is not less than the created then how could he be merely 
an eternal principle? How would you like to have a wife 
and family who were only influences or forces of eternal 
principles? Jesus said, "I ascend unto my Father and to 
your Father, and to my God and to your God/' To Jesus, 
God was a real personage, his literal Father, who was in 
form and feature as he himself was. Paul said, "Ye are also 
his offspring/' (Acts 17:28) and David said, "Ye are gods 
and all of you are children of the most High/' (Psalm 
82:6) And to the Hebrews Paul explained that God is the 
father of spirits, (Hebrews 12:9) What a tremendous fact 
and how important that we understand it! 

Some time ago one of the great ministers of the world 
wrote a book in which he compared the great Christian 
doctrines as taught in the Bible with the doctrines taught 
by the popular ministers of the present day. In making his 
comparison he said, "The God of the Bible is a personal God, 
there can be no question about that." And then he said, 
"But we don't believe that any more." Then he quoted from 
the answers he had received from present-day teachers of 
religion, explaining what they believed God to be. One said 
that he was like a giant electronic brain. One said that God 
was anything that you couldn't explain. He said he was 


atheism to the atheist. Another said that God was a mobile, 
cosmic ether. This man said, "Imagine Jesus praying to a 
mobile cosmic ether." Jesus prayed, "Our Father which art 
in Heaven." What did he mean? Can we accuse Jesus of 
double-talk and an attempt to deceive? Did Jesus believe 
that he was the Son of an incomprehensible, shapeless influ- 
ence without body, parts or passions? Jesus talked with 
his Father and his Father replied. 

Some not only say that God has no body, but that we 
will also lose our bodies. If bodies were not necessary, why 
were they ever created in the first place? If they are not 
necessary for the hereafter, why did God go to all the bother 
to establish the resurrection? If a body was necessary for 
God the Father why should God the Son have been res- 
urrected? Next to the spirit, the human body is God's 
greatest creation. And none of his works are temporary. 

Jesus did not lose his body after the resurrection. It 
did not evaporate. It did not expand to fill the immensity of 
space. At the resurrection his spirit and body were insep- 
arately joined together, never again to be separated. When 
he ascended into heaven he had his body and the angels 
who stood at his side said, "This same Jesus, which is taken 
up from you into heaven, shall so come again in like manner 
as ye have seen him go into heaven/* Paul said that Jesus 
is in the express image of his Father's person. If a body is 
necessary for Jesus, why isn't it necessary for his Father? 
Or if it isn't necessary for the Father, why should it be nec- 
essary for the Son. There are some people upon the earth 
who know beyond any question of doubt that God has a 
body. He has appeared to man in our own day and has left 
indisputable evidence and a powerful written testimony 
about himself. Men in our own day have seen God even 
as Moses did, face to face. A modern revelation says, "The 
Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; 
the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and 
bones, but is a personage of Spirit" (D&C 130:22.) 


We can know the truth of this for ourselves. It is not 
necessary for us to believe in a false religion and base our 
faith in an unknown God. God has not gone out of business. 
God still lives and is interested in us. And every human 
being upon the earth will some time know this for himself, 
for many of the wonderful works of God are still in the future. 
Angels do minister to men upon the earth, and if we would 
make our lives successful, we must learn about the true God 
and establish his religion securely in our lives. 

The Unprofitable Servant 


OF the very constructive lessons 
of the scriptures is taught in the 
parable of the talents. In this interesting experience related 
by Jesus we learn of the individual responses made by three 
men to the same opportunity, and based on their reactions 
the Master appraised their lives. 

He said, "For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travel- 
ing into a far country, who called his own servants, and 
delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five 
talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man 
according to his several ability; and straightway took his 
journey. Then he that had received the five talents went 
and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 
And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other 
two. But he that had received one went and digged in the 
earth, and hid his lord's money. 

"After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and 
reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five 
talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, 
thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained 
beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well 
done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful 
over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: 
enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received 
two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me 
two talents: behold, I have gained two talents beside them. 
His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; 
thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee 
ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 


"Then he which had received the one talent came and 
said, Lord ... I was afraid . . . and hid thy talent in the earth: 
lo, there thou hast that is thine." 

The third servant had not improved his situation during 
the lord's absence and in condemning him for his wasted 
opportunity the Lord made one of the most vigorous de- 
nunciations of his entire career. He said to the man who 
showed no gain, "Thou wicked and slothful servant." Jesus 
then gave directions that the unused talent should be taken 
from him and given to the one who had best demonstrated 
his ability to handle the situation most advantageously. 

The Lord closed the case by saying, "Cast ye the un- 
profitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weep- 
ing and gnashing of teeth." 

We feel very sorry for this unfortunate man. His loss 
was not because he did anything wrong, but rather because 
his fear had prevented him doing anything at all. Yet this 
is the process by which most of our blessings are lost. 

Immediately following the account of the unprofitable 
servant Jesus gave us that great basic success principle which 
says, "For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall 
have an abundance; but from him that hath not shall be 
taken away even that which he hath." (Matt. 25:14-30) 

We see this principle in operation around us in all of 
its physical, mental and spiritual aspects. We know that 
when one fails to use the muscles of his arm he loses his 
strength. The mole didn't use his eyes, and so nature took 
away his eyesight. When we don't develop our abilities, we 
lose our abilities. When the people in past ages have not 
honored the Priesthood, it has been taken from them. When 
we don't obey the gospel, we lose its benefits and apostasy 
possesses us. Neither spiritual, mental nor physical talents 
develop while they are buried in the earth. 

As if to reinforce the thought of this great idea, Jesus 
gave another parable with about the same meaning. He 


said, "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, 
and he came and sought fruit thereon and found none. Then 
said he unto the dresser of his vineyard. Behold these three 
years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none; cut 
it down; why cumbereth it the ground?" (Luke 13:7) 

It would be pretty difficult to miss the Lord's meaning. 
He intends that his children should make their lives produc- 
tive. Everywhere we go in life we come face to face with 
the Lord's meaningful question, What doth it profit? Only 
a godly parent can understand the Lord's desire that his chil- 
dren make something of themselves. And one of the greatest 
yearnings that we know is that our children develop their 
ability and their righteousness. 

One of the most pathetic of all experiences is to have 
a child whose body does not develop, or whose mind does 
not mature. However, in most of these situations no one 
is to blame, and the shortage can be made up in the resur- 

But what must be the yearning and sorrow of a Heavenly 
Father whose children allow wickedness, sloth and fear 
to destroy their spiritual growth and forever disqualify them 
for the great blessings of the celestial kingdom. Our lives 
must be made to show a profit. 

One of the basic laws of the Lord and one on which 
our eternal welfare depends is the law of stewardship. In 
the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord makes this idea clear 
by saying, "For it is required of the Lord, at the hand of 
every steward, to render an accord of his stewardship, both 
in time and in eternity." (D&C 72:3) "And whoso is found 
a faithful, a just and a wise steward shall enter into the joy 
of his Lord, and shall inherit eternal life/' (D&C 51:19) 
What a tremendous opportunity! 

All sin is displeasing to God because he understands 
the great damage it does in the lives of people. But one 
of the traits that has seemed to most incite his displeasure 


is for one to let his personal gifts go unused. These are the 
sins of people who bury their talents in the ground, or hide 
their lights under a bushel, or allow their salt to lose its savor. 
By far the most important values in the world are human 
values, and the Lord has indicated that the worst of all of 
the sins is that of turning away from righteousness in the 
face of great knowledge. 

At one time Satan was high in the councils of heaven 
and was called Lucifer "the light bearer/' a son of the morn- 
ing. But Satan sinned and became a son of perdition. His 
sin made him the chief of the unprofitable servants. This 
was not alone for the damage he brought upon himself, but 
for the resulting destruction to others of God's children. 
Everyone is relatively unprofitable to the extent to which 
he is performing at less than his best. And Satan like we 
then help the lives of others to show a loss. 

Mr. H. G. Wells tells how any person may determine 
whether or not he is succeeding in his life. He says, "Wealth, 
notoriety, place and power are not measures of success. The 
only sure standard of judgment is the ratio between what 
we might have done and what we might have been, on the 
one hand; and what we have actually done, and what we have 
actually been on the other. 

Certainly the greatest waste there is in the world is not 
the devastation that goes with war, nor is it the cost that 
goes with crime; it is not the erosion of our soils, nor the 
waste of our raw materials. The greatest waste there is 
in the world is that human beings, you and I, live so far 
below the level of our possibilities. We are therefore re- 
enacting in our own lives the parable of the unprofitable 
servant, by burying our talents in the ground. 

The treasures that God has placed in human personality 
are greater than all other kinds of wealth combined. Wealth 
cannot produce personality, but personality can produce 
wealth, All of the primary values in the world are in human 


beings, and to the extent that these human values are wasted 
and lost, we are made poorer. That is, wealth is not so much 
what you have as what you are. We don't work merely to 
acquire but to become. Success in life isn't determined by 
what we can get out of it, but by what we can become by it. 
And one of the most common ways of becoming an unprofit- 
able servant is to join with this poor, unfortunate one-talent 
man and say, "I was afraid/' 

Fear has probably caused more problems than almost 
anything else in the world. We are afraid of failure, we are 
afraid of other people. We are afraid of ourselves. Fear is 
the absence of courage. It is an important part of discour- 
agement. It destroys industry. It saps our strength, wastes 
our enthusiasm and brings our effort down to zero. That 
is, a discouraged man is always a weak man, and weak men 
fall down in their stewardship and become unprofitable 

Just think how much talent is lost to the world for want 
of a little courage. Every day sends to their graves obscure 
men whom fear and timidity prevented from making the 
first effort. If these people had only had the courage to 
begin, they may have gone a long way in whatever career 
they may have chosen. To do anything worth doing, we 
must not stand back shivering and shaking and thinking only 
of the cold and danger, we should dive into our job and 
scramble through as best we can. One who is perpetually 
calculating fine risks and overworrying about the possibility 
of failure will usually not get very far in life. Sometimes a 
man waits and doubts and fears, while he consults his neigh- 
bors and his friends until one day he wakes up and finds out 
that life has passed him by, and that he has lost so much 
time in worry and consulting cousins and uncles, that he 
now has no time to follow their counsel. 

One of the greatest enemies of any progress is an over- 
dose of what might be called too much caution. For example, 


we remember the reason that the children of Israel were kept 
wandering for forty years in the Arabian Desert. Shortly 
after they had left Egypt, they found themselves with Moses 
at their head, standing at the very door of their promised 
land. The Lord had promised them the land of their fathers, 
and was now ready to give them occupancy. Prior to their 
entry Moses had sent twelve spies, one representing each 
tribe, to gather information about the present inhabitants, 
their fortifications, etc. Just before they left, Moses said 
to them, "Be ye of good courage/* But this important instruc- 
tion they failed to observe. When they returned ten of the 
twelve, under the influence of their fears, made an "evil 
report." They said, "We be not able to go up against the 
people; for they are stronger than we. . . . [they] are men 
of a great stature. . . ." They said, the land is full of giants, 
and then added, ". . . we were in our own sight as grass- 
hoppers. . . ." (Nu. 13:31-33) 

Joshua and Caleb, who favored following the command 
of the Lord, said, **. . . Let us go up at once and possess it; 
for we are well able to overcome it/' But the ten were afraid 
and they so incited the fears of the people that they also 
rebelled against Moses and God. Then in their fear and 
rebellion the people said, ". . . Would God that we had died 
in the land of Egypt . . . wherefore hath the Lord brought 
us unto this land, to fall by the sword? . . /' 

Fear in ten men started a stampede in the whole camp 
and they all became unprofitable servants. The ten fright- 
ened leaders lost their lives and the entire group were kept 
wandering for forty years in the wilderness. Of those over 
twenty years old, only the courageous Joshua and Caleb 
lived long enough to enter the promised land forty years later. 

Panics caused by fear are still taking their toll. In the 
great financial depression of the thirties, President Roosevelt 
said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself/' That is 
still our problem. We are afraid of failure. We are afraid 


of the future. We are afraid of the present. We are afraid 
of what people will say. We are afraid of ourselves. We 
are afraid to stick to our convictions. We are afraid to live 
at our best. 

One of the most valuable Christian traits is courage; the 
courage to try, the courage to be different, the courage to 
live up to our possibilities. We should develop more self- 
discipline and the courage of righteousness. Listen to the 
inspiring words of the Master as he went around saying to 
people, "Fear not, be not afraid, why are ye troubled? Why 
do thoughts arise in your hearts? Rejoice and be exceeding 

Most occupational failures come because of discourage- 
ment, doubt, worry, dread, fear and lack of self-confidence 
and for about the same reasons we fail in the larger field 
of life. We are afraid to be righteous. We are afraid to 
serve God and follow our own convictions. What a calamity 
it will be if when we ultimately come before God in final 
judgment, we then find that we are labeled as unprofitable 
servants, and then hear the Lord say "take his talent from 
him and give it to him who had demonstrated his ability 
to use it." 

We may eliminate the destructive effects of fear in our 
lives if we trust and obey God. He has said, "Lo, it is I, 
be not afraid." May we follow this important instruction 
as we make the greatest possible use of our God-given talents 
until we may sometime hear the Lord say to us, "Well 
done, thou good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faith- 
ful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many 
things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord/' 



Abel, 234ff, 359ff 
Abraham, 35, 330 
Accomplishment, 162 
"Accumulations," 188 
Achievement, 74 
Acorn, 14 

Activities, individual, 67 
Adam, 34, 71, 206 
Addison, Joseph, 350 
Addition, 185 
Address, inaugural, 365 
Adonis, 199 
Adultery, 332 
Adventure, mental, 107 
Advertisements, liquor, 347 
Aesop, 142 

Agamemnon, 216, 344 
Age of accountability, 72 

scientific, 367 
Agnostic, 273 

Agreements, broken by Russia, 68 
Allen, James L., 110 
Alps, climbing of, 56 
Alcohol, 348 
Alcoholic, 59, 181, 254 
Alcoholics, 245ff, 335 

in America, 195 
Alcoholism, 245ff 
Alexander the Great, 94, 319 
Amati, Nicholas, 40 
America, 316 

American, way of life, 316 
Americanism, 70 
Amnesia, 26ff 

classes of, 27 
Amphitheatre, 197 
Andrew, death of, 354 
Angel, meaning of, 35 
Angels, 33ff 

kinds of, 3B 
Anger, 331 

of the Lord, 135 
Antioch, 281 
Anvil, 240 
Aphrodite, 23S 
Apollo, 233 

Apostasy, 174 
Apostles, death of, 354 
Appetites, 246 
Appian Way, 252 
Arabia, desert of, 330 
Arithmetic, life's, 180 
Artist, in New York, 111 
Army, 272 

Arnold, Benedict, 151, 187 
Arnold, Matthew, 308 
"As if/ 7 principle, 58 
Ascension day, 354 

of Jesus, 351 
Astronauts, 290 
Astronomers, 165 
Atheism, 372 
Atheist, 63ff, 369 
Athene, 344 
Athens, 248, 368 
Atomic bomb, 168 

Attendance, at Sacrament meeting, 56 
Attributes, of man, 82 
Augustus, Caesar, 208 

Baal, 143 

Gods of, 20 
Babel, 368 
"Backslider," 98 
Babylon, 21, 346 
Babylonian captivity, 29 
Bacon, Francis, 49 
Ballistician, definition of, 48 
Ballistics, 47ff 
Bank president, 16 
Bannister, Roger, 163 
Barnabas, death of, 354 
Bartholdi, Fredric Auguste, 316ff 
Bartholomew, death of, 354 
Battlefield, 266 
Bedford Jail, 284 
Bedloe Island, 316 
Bee, 44 

Beers, Ethel Lynn, 84 
Beings, moral, 62 
Belief, in God, 79 
Ben Hur, 



Bethlehem, 34, 36, 208 
Betrayer, 69, 296 
Bible, 29, 89, 97, 124, 296, 348 
Billboard, 98 
Biography, study of, 40 
Birth, of Jesus, 208ff 
Birthmark, 202 
Birthright, 55 
Bishop, 13 
Bitterness, 281 
Blacksmith, 240 

"Blacksmith, The Village," by Long- 
fellow, 241 
Blemishes, 203 
Blood, circulation of, 65 
Boaz, 208 
Body members, 52 
Body, human, 105 
Bondage, 320 

Book of Common Prayer, 238 
Book of Genesis, 370 
Book of Psalms, 238 
Book of Revelation, 20 
Books, 107, 338 
Borgia, 19 

Born, under the covenant, 72 
Botsford, Professor, 268 
Boy, dreaming of a tiger, 115 
Box, Pandora's, 231ff 
Brain, 47, 61 
Brains, 328 
Bricklayer, 16 
Bridle, 50 

Bristol, Claude, 169 
Brooks, Phillip, 326 
Brown, William A., 69 
Brownsville, 159ff 
Bunyon, John, 123, 284 
Burke, Edmund, 195, 200 
Burleigh, Lord, 277 
"Business, My Father's," 12, 181 


Caesar, 319 

Caffeine, 184 

Caiaphas, 171, 253 

Cain, 185, 234ff, 359ff, 362, 364 

Caleh, 379 

Calf, golden, 139 

Calvary, 70, 301, 355 

Calypso, 220 

Candle, of the Lord, 176 

Capernaum, 99 

Capitalistic system, 13 

Capua, 196 

Carelessness, 249 

Carlyle, Thomas, 160, 366 

Cartilage, 267 

Carthagenians, 268 

Castro, Mr., 169 

Caution, danger of too much, 378 

Celestial City, 18 

Glory, 257 

Kingdom, 15, 16, 17, 65, 125ff, 

207, 229 

Spirit, 164 

Chairman of the board, 67 
Chameleon, 248 
Champions, 187 
Chance, blind, 61 
Chang, P. H., 132 
Chapin, E. H., 150 
Charybdis, 219 
Checker, 108 
Chemistry, laws of, 64 
Cherith, brook of, 24 
Chief priests, 165 
Child, Mrs. L. M., 291 

improperly developed, 376 
"Children of darkness," 173 

of God, literal, 55 

of King Lear, 119 

love of, 88 
China, 194 
Chinese, gentleman, 337 

teenagers, 132 
Christian, 210 
Christianity, 367 

"Christ Before Pilate," painting, 214 
"Chord, The Lost," 187ff 
Christmas, 117 
Church, 13, 14 
Churchill, Winston, 139 
Cicero, 117 
Circe 218 

Citadel, The, by A. J. Cronin, 99 
Citizen, good, 69 
Civil War, 332 
Cleveland, Grover, 317 
Coach, Canadian, 142 
Coffee, abstinence from, 56 
Coffee break, 184 
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 190 
Color blindness, 223 
Colton, 278 

Columbus, Christopher, 113 
Commandment, 336 
Commitments, 69 
Communication, 67 
Communism, 13, 319, 346 
Communist Party, 195 
Communists, 275 
Compensation, law of, 11 

provisions for, 14 
Complacency, 326 
Compulsion, kinds of, 283 
Concealment, 326 
Concepts, of God, 369 



Contract, marriage, 69 
Convict, released, 148 
Convictions, 266, 380 

religious, 140 
Corinthians, 125 
Cormoran, giant, 152 
Cornelia, 264 
Cornwall Island, 152 
Corregidor, 352 
Couple, middle-aged, 156 

young, 136ff 
Courage, 266, 378, 380 
Courage, The Gift of, by P. Speicher 
Courtesy, 107, 285 
Courtship, 228 
Covenant, definition of a 67 

eternal, 71 

new and everlasting, 71 
Covenantmakers, 67ff 
Covenants, 15 

"Covet, thou shalt not," 359ff 
Covetousness, 359ff 
Cracker barrel, 161 
Creation, double, 370 

Grecian story of, 232ff 

of the earth, 173 

morning of, 175 

story of, 287 
Creator, of earth, 355 
Creditor, 30 
Crime, 210, 248 
Crime detection, 47 
Cremona, Italy, 40 
Cronin, A. J,, 99 
Cross, of Jesus, 304ff 

significance of, 306 
Crucifixion, of Jesus, 301ff 
Crudens Concordance, 26 
Cuba, 194 
Curiosity, 233 
Cyclops, 218 
Cyrene, 301 
Cyrus, 319, 346 

Damascus, 150 
Damnation, 205 

forces of, 349 
Damoclean process, 325 
Damocles, the sword of, 323ff 
Danforth, W, H., 104 
Daniel, 192 
David, 67, 74, 154 

city of, 208 
Dark Ages, 168 
Darkness, 173 

powers of, 346 
Death, 60 

eternal, 150 

Deeapolis, 54 

Decay, moral, 90 

"Deceitful hearts/' 98 

Deception, 227 

"Decision, the Hour of," 138ff 

Declaration of Independence, 5, 318 

Dedication, 320 

Deeds, heroic, 267 

Defeatism, 162 

Defects, personality, 261 

Defense, Secretary of, 141 

Degradation, 331 

Degrees of glory, 125ff 

Delilah, 19 

Delinquency, 248, 331 

juvenile, 132 
Delirium, tremens, 251 
Demon, 74ff 
DeMille, Cecil B., 331 
Demosthenes, 284 
Dempsey, Jack, 324 
Destiny, of America, 321 
Devices, labor-saving, 337 
Devils, possessed of, 158 
Devon, England, 190 
Dialogues, of Socrates, 140 
Dictators, communist, 99 
Diogenes, 248 
Dionysius, 323 

Disaster, short roads to, 300 
Discouragement, 378 
Discovery, greatest, 33 
Disease, 26, 91 
Dishonesty, 326 
Disobedience, of Israel, 90 
Dishonor, 133 
Disraeli, Prime Minister of England, 


Distraction, 191 
Doctor, 16, 261 

Doctrine and Covenants, 71, 376 
Doctrine, definition of, 72 

of Satan, 87 
"Doers," 108 
Dollar, yardstick of, 15 
Domination, philosophy of, 319 
Donkey, 142 
Door, to the heart, 211 
Downfall, spiritual, 347 
Dream, of lost car, 28 
Dreams, 190ff 
Duality, in universe, 233 


East Germany, 194 
Easter, 117, 180 
Easter cross, 180, 186 
Ederle, Gertrude, 163 
Education, 278 



Egypt, 379 
Eggs, of evil, 251 

Python, 245f 
Electricity, 64 
Elements, in nature, 167 

personal, 167 
Elephant, Johnston's, 259 
Elijah, 23ff, 38, 143 
Elisha, 94 
Elonim, 356 

Emancipation Proclamation, 292 
Emerson, 47, 57, 95, 100, 133, 180, 

192, 292, 318 
Emma-Lazarus, 318 
Emotions, 170 
Employers, 148 
Enemies, 266 
Energy, 180 
Endurance, fifth principle of Gospel, 


England, 100 
English Channel, 163 
Engrain, 47 
Enoch, 59 

city of, 60 
Enslavement, 319 
Ephesus, Eders of, 31 
Epictetus, 195, 322 
Esau, 226 

Eternal marriage, 73 
Eternity, 258, 297 
Euphrates, river, 346 
Eve, 71 

Everlasting punishment, 174 
Evil, 144, 248 

consequences of, 92 

doctrines of, 333 

forces of, 319 

of mankind, 233 

powers of, 195 
Example, power of good, 162 
Execution, 297 
Executioner, 297 
Experience, personal, 2&1 
Explorers, 146 


Fables, 231 

Failure, 379 

Failures, occupational, 380 

"Faint hearts, 98 

Faith, in God. 95 

"Fall of man,'* 206 

Family, 81ff 

eternal nature of, 87 

love of, 132 
Farm, 288 
Farmer, 66 

friend, 289 

with five sons, 12 
Father Jesse, 154 

Father and mother, honor thy, 13 Iff 
Fathers, 82 
Father's Day, 117 
Fear, 378ff 
"Fiction, useful," 231 
Fifth columnists, 346 
Fig tree, 169 

parable of, 376ff 
Fighter, 99 

Fighters, for righteousness, 102 
Flag, 316 
Floods, 71 
Food, 52 
Fool, 230 
Football game, 225 
Forefathers, 169 
Forge, 244 
Forgetful, 96 
Forgetfulness, 26, 32 
Formula, of Jesus, 104 
Fosdick, Harry Emerson, 280 
Founding Fathers, 51, 363 
Fox, and the grapes, 231 
Fox-hole religion, 307 
"Fractional devotion," 307 
France, 317 

Franklin, Benjamin, 171 
Freedom, 194 

from oppression, 318 
Freedoms, two, 195 
Free agency, 322 

of man, 70 

Franco-Prussian War, 317 
Fringes, colored, 31 
Fruit, forbidden, 206 
Future, 258 

Gabriel, 35 

Gaelic philosophy, 145 

Galatians, 3, 63, 200 

Galilee, 54 

Galileo, 225 

Gambling, 362 

Gandlii, Mohandas K.> 142, 204, 248 

Gardarenes, 109 

Garden of Eden, 202 

Gath, 154 

Gethsemane, 36, 135, 358 

Garden of, 301 
Genesis, 175, 287 
Germany, 294 

Gifts, or body and mind, 234 
Girl, possessed of evil spirit, 120 
Gladiators, Greek, 196 



Goals, of life, 329 

God, 6, 12, 13, 14, 18, 30, 31, 33, 34, 
42, 45, 62, 65, 70, 78, 86, 87, 93, 
106, 119, 132, 135, 170, 173, 202, 
206, 247, 257, 263, 275, 287, 289, 
291, 321, 330, 333, 347, 366, 369 

"God Bless America," 320 

Godhood, potentiality of, 169 

Goethe, 246 

Golden Age, of Greece, 57, 232 

Goldsmith, Oliver, 364 

Golgotha, 301 

Goliath, 154 

Goneril, 19 

Goodness, 118 

Gordon, General Charles, 185 

Gospel, 200, 279 
of Jesus Christ, 178 

Goths, Alaric's, 299 

Government, 364 
free, 321 
good, 68 

Graham, Billy, 138, 143 

Grammar, rules of, 29 

Gratitude, 117 

Gravity, 64 

Greatness, 355 

Greece, 105, 281 

Greenlease, Bobby, 84 

Grocer, 161 

Grocery store, 52 

Group conversation, 50 

Growth, personal, 17 

Guidance, to children, 133 

Guide, 63ff 

Guided missiles, 290 

Habits, bad, 250 
Hale, Nathan, 266, 281 
Hammer, 244 
Happiness, 137 

way to, 200 
Harvest, Law of, llff 
Harvey, 65 
Hate, 42 
Health, good, 183 

of people, 106 

by religious motives, 274 
Heart, definition of, 96 

a fighting, 96ff 
Heaven, 87, 125 
Heavenly Father, 39 
Helen, 216 
Hell, 125, 138 
Hellespont, 216, 344 
Henley, 112 
Henry, O., Ill 

Henry, Patrick, 194, 277 

Hermes, 233 

Herod, 209 

Herodias, 19 

Herter, 292 

Hezekiah, 92 

"Highway Age, The," 294 

Highway, 187, 294, 295 

the shortest, 294ff 
Hill, Rowland, 277 
Hitler, Adolph, 99, 294 
Holy Bible, 173 
Holy Ghost, 32 
Holy Scriptures, 103, 273 
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 168 
Home, 83, 132, 285 
Homer, 216, 344ff 
Honesty, 141 
Honor, 110 

definition of, 131 
Hope, 234 
Hopelessness, 174 
Horse races, 362 
Hotel, in Florida, 16 
How Many Hurt, poem, 121 
Hugo, Victor, 292 


I Dare You, 104 

"I Walked Today Where Jesus 

Walked," song, 214 
Ibsen, 275 
Icebergs, 340 
Idaho, 362 
Idea books, 340 
Ideas, 47, 293 

of God, 369 
Idleness, 99, 251 
Idolatry, 368 
Ignorance, 99, 144, 170, 348 

sins of, 249 
"Hiad, The," 216, 344 
Illusion, 227 

Imagination, use of, 340ff 
Immaturity, 260 
Immoral person, 143 
Impartiality, 139, 296 
Imperfections, physical, 203 
Imps, Satan's, 182 
Inconsistency, 249 
Indecision, 139, 249 
Independence, American, 194 
India, 178, 245 
Indians, 158 
Indifference, 249 
Industrious, 59 
Industry, 171 
Infiltration, military, 345 
Ingersol, Robert G., 348 



Ingratitude, 119 

Inheritance, laws of, 55 

Inhibited, children, 334 

Inmates, in State Prison, 297 

Inn, no room in the, 208ff 

Instruments, of accomplishment, 104 

Integrity, 296 

Invalid, woman, 284 

Irreligion, 183 

Irresponsibility, 333 

Irritations, 113 

Isaac, 330 

Isaiah, 30, 35, 174 

Iscariot, Judas, 151, 187 

Isle of Patmos, 37 

Israel, children of, 139, 379 

land of, 20, 22 
Israelites, 89ff, 201, 321 
Ithaca, 217 
Ivanhoe, 100 


"Jack the Giant Killer," 152ff 

Jackson, Andrew, 87 

Jacob, 208, 226, 330 

Jails, 261 

James, Apostle, 29, 292 
death of, 354 

James, William, 47, 58, 272 

Japanese, 352 

Jehovah, 22, 355 

Jehu, 24ff 

Jeremiah, 30, 31, 201 

Jerusalem, 54 

Jesse, 208 

Jesus, 12, 15, 18, 31, 34, 35, 36, 38, 
40, 43, 54, 58, 59, 63, 70, 71, 78, 
86, 87, 92, 93, 103, 118, 124, 130, 
135, 141, 160, 164, 166, 168, 171, 
175, 213, 221, 228, 244, 252, 257, 
263, 280, 283, 286, 291, 292, 295, 
301, 322, 329, 331, 334, 351ff, 361 
as a resurrected being, 356 

Jews, 29, 281 

Jezebel, 206 

Jezreel, 22 
Jimmy," 108 

Joan of Arc, 266 

Job, 32, 78 

Job, appeal, 223 

dissatisfaction with, 223 
of the heart, 97 

John, 33^, 124, 175 

John the Baptist, 19 

John the Revelator, 18, 37 

Jonathan, 67, 74 

Joneses, keeping up with, 159ff 

Jordan, river, 94 

Joseph, 208 

Joseph of Arimathaea, 209, 355 
oshua, 379 
Journey, life's, 145 
Joy, 137 

fulness of, 88 
Judas, 254ff, 295 
Judea, 54 
Judean, Hills, 208 
Judge, in New York, 132 
in San Francisco, 90 
Judgment, fears of, 332 
final, 380 


Kellogg, Elijah, 196, 267 
Kennedy, John F., 45 
Kennedy, President, 365 
Kettering, Charles F., 256 
King Ahab, 19ff 

Ahale, 143 

Arthur, 152 

Belshazzar, 346 

David, 207 

Dionysius, 75 

Duncan, 19 

King "Lear, by Shakespeare 

Nebuchadnezzar, 191, 328 

Richard, lOOff 

Saul, 154, 206, 263 
Kingdom of God, 172 
Kingsley, Charles, 195, 266, 278 
Kipling, Rudyard, 122 
Knowledge, of self, 33 
Koords, King of, 308 
Khrushchev, 169, 275, 368 


Labor, 242 
Lady Macbeth, 19 
Lamplighter, the, 173ff 
Laocficea, 140 
Laodiceans, 212 
Latena, Nicholas, 42 
Lauder, Sir Hanry, 177 
Law, 63 

ignorance of, 18 
"Law of consequences," 6 
Laws, of the Gospel, 65 

world, 62 

Learning, sources of, 266 
Lee, Harold B., 294 
Lentulus, 197 
Leprosy, 26, 94 
Lethargy, 99 
Letters, chain, 362 
Leuctra, 198 
Liberty, 194 

blessings of, 321 

love of, 194BE, 200 



rights of, 5 

statue of, 316ff 
Liberty Island, 320 
"Life, A Psalm of," 238ff 
LIFE, magazine, 298 
Life, 83 

books of, 66 

expectancy. 337 

a four square, 103ff 

river of, 147 

spontaneous, 64 

worth of a, 84 
Light, 174 

of God, 175 

on a hill, 164 
Lincoln, Abraham, 131, 143, 163, 177, 

291, 332 

Nancy Hanks, 131 
Link, Dr. Henry C., 273ff, 336 
Lion, 7 

Cub, 113 
Liquor, 56 
Literature, 74, 293 
Loafer, 45 
Locke, John, 104 
Longfellow, Henry W., 238ff 
LOOK, magazine, 42, 223, 333 
Lord, 140 

"Lord Is My Light, The," 176 
Lord Tennyson, 98 
Losses, 187 

personal, 192ff 
Lotteries, 362 
Love, 43, 82, 286 
Lowell, 227 
Loyalty, 267 

to God, 265 
Lucifer, 93, 263 
Lucretia, 19 
Luke, 103, 124 
Lunatics, 61 


MacArthur, General Douglas, 352 
Magician, and the mouse, 231 
Malachi, 38 
Man, 62, 81, 106 

designed by God, 105 

lopsided, 109 

mistake-prone, 201 

sorting potatoes, 138 

told to quit smoking, 184 

with bad habits, 247 

with physical affliction, 122 
Manlius, 268 

Mansions, his many, 124ff . 
Mao, Mr., 169 
Marathon, 198 

Mariner, 257 

Mark, death of, 354 

Marriage, 81ff, 274 

relationship, 68 
Mars' Hill, 369 
Marshall, Peter, 158 
Mary, 208 
Master, 380 

Masterpiece, unborn, 111 
Materials, raw, 377 
Matthew, 54 

death of, 354 

Maugham, U. Somerset, 298 
Mayo Clinic, 178 
Meditation, 348 
Memorial Day, 117 
Memorization, 50, 339ff 
Memory, 27 
Men of Science, 273 
Menelaus, 216, 344 
"Mental ballistics," 47 
Mental ideas, 48ff 

patient, 139 

reservations, 142 
Meridian of Time, 292 
Micah, 208 
Middle-aged man, 114 
Mile, The Second, by H. E. Fosdick, 


Military service, 281 
Millennium, 129 
Millionaire, old man, 342 
Milton, John, 284 
Mind, the human, 47ff, 117 
Minister, 332, 366 
Ministering angels, 34 
Ministers, erroneous concepts of God 

by, 371ff 
Minnesota, 178 
Minus signs, ISlff 
Miracle, feeding, the multitude, 304 
Mirages, 223 
Misery, eternal, 334 
Mole, 375 
Money, 15 
Moral, 56 

Moreland, John Richard, 246 
Moroni, appearance to Joseph Smith, 


Mortality, 86 

Moses, 91, 139, 330ff, 355, 368, 379 
Mother, Abraham Lincoln's, 82 

attempted suicide, 133 

farewell to son, 135 
Mothers, 82, 285 
Mother's Day, 117 
Motherhood, 82 
Mount, Carmel, 24 

of Olives, 352ff 



Olivet, 357 

Sinai, 30, 131, 330H 

Vesuvius, 196 
Mountain, 56 
Murder, 331 
Murders, 334 
Music, 293 

Musi level, of performance, 282 
Mycenae, 216, 344 
Mythology, Grecian, 232ff 


Naaman, 94 
Naboth, 22 
Naldo, 46 
Naomi, 74 
Napoleon, 187 
Nations, 362 
Nature, 14 

acts of, 62 

of God, 367 

God of, 62 
Nazareth, 208 
Negative thinking, 183 
Negro slave, 291 
Neutrality, 140 
"New Colossus, The," 318 
New Orleans, 291 
New Year's Resolutions, 49 
New York Harbor, 316 
Newspapers, 361 
Newton, 64 
Nicotine, 247 
Noah, 59, 206, 296 
Noonan, Thomad, 298 
North Star, 257 
Notebook, 114 
Notoriety, 377 
Numidian lion, 199 


Oath and covenant, 72 

Obedience, 59 

Obligations, 285 

Occupational success, 157 

Odysseus, 216ff 

"Odyssey, The," 216ff, 344 

Old Testament, 89 

Omri, 20 

Onion seed, 14 

Opposites, law of, 234 

Optimist, 228 

Ought level, of performance, 282 


Pandora's Box, 265 
Panics, 379 
Paradise Lost, 284 

Parents, 334 

example of, 133 
Paris, 216, 344 
"Parlor Soldiers," 100 
Pascal, 279 
Pasteur, Louis, 177 
Pat, on deathbed, 140 
Pathos, 242 
Patriot, 268 
Pattern, reaction, 61 
Paul, 15, 31, 34, 47, 54, 63, 86, 87, 

105, 109, 151, 168, 169, 173, 200, 

279, 286, 345, 368, 369 

death of, 354 
Peace, 99, 210 
Penelope, 220 
Penitentiary, 149 
Pentagon, 141 
Perdition, sons of, 129 
"Perfect, Be Ye Therefore," 54ff 
Perfection, 56, 88 
Performance, three levels of, 282 
Pericles, 57 

Persecution, of early Christians, 252 
Persians, 308 
Personality, 15 

human, 377 
Perversions, sex, 334 
Perversity, 261 
Pessimist, 228 
Peter, 32, 171, 253, 257, 297, 354 

denial of Christ, 54 

legend of, 252ff 
Peter, William, 75 
Pharaoh, 206 
Pharisees, 166 
Phi Beta Kappa, 273 
Philip, death of, 354 
Philippines, 352 
Philistines, 154 
Philosopher, 108 

meaning of, 164 
Philosophy, second mile, 282 
Physical law, 62 
Physician, 94 

Great, 179 
Pilate, 169 
Pilgrim Fathers, 118 
Pilgrim forefathers, 6 
Pilgrim, John Bunyon's, 18 
"Pilgrim's Progress," 284 
Plan of salvation, 103 
Pledge of allegiance, 68 
Pledges, 69 
Plus sign, 180 
Plutarch, 222 
Pluto, 48 

Plymouth Rock, 6, 118 
Point of the Mountain, 294 



Poland, 194 

Polio, 26 

Polyphemus, 218 

Poor, 31 

Pope, Alexander, 56, 249 

Porter, William Sidney, 174 

Poseidon, 218 

Possibilities, God-given, 168 

living below our, 377 
Postponement, 158 
Potato crop, 289 
Potatoes, 14 

sorting, 138 
Pottage, 226, 227 
Potter, 201 

Potter's wheel, 201, 207 
Po Valley, 196 
Power, 377 
Powers, personal, 283 

given to man, 167 
Praetor, 198 
Prayer breaks, 184 
Prayers, 45, 109 
Pre-earth life, 70 
Pre-existence, 34, 70 

of Christ, 355 
President of the United States, oath 

of, 69 

Priesthood, 14, 375 
Principles, 336 
Printing, 89 
Prisoner, 149 
Prize fighter, 57, 324 
"Problem-solvers,*' 156 
Problems, 44 

personal, 224 

to solve, 81, 153 
Procrastination, 190 
Procreation, laws of, 64 
Proctor, Adelaide, 187 
Profanity, 183 
"Profit and loss system," 7 
"Profit system," 7 
Progress, 81, 175 

human, 299 

spiritual, 57 
Prometheus, 232ff 
Promised land, 379 
Promises, of God, 67 
Proverbs, 176 
Provert, 7 
Psalter, 238 
Psychiatrist, 259 
Psychology, 276, 334 
Psychopathy, 259, 261ff 
Publicans, 54 
Punctuality, 56 
"Pygmalion," by G. B. Shaw, 106 

Pyle, Ernie, 83 
Pythias, 74ff 
Pythons, 245 


Queen Jezebel, 19ff 
Quiz program, 363 
"Quo Vadis," 252ff 


Races, chariot, 281 

Rachel, 208 

Raiment, 361 

Raleigh, Sir Walter, 14 

Ralston-Purina Company, 104 

Rational beings, 62 

Ravenna, 196 

"Razor's Edge, The," by W. S. 

Maugham, 298 
Rebecca, 100 

"Rebel Without a Cause," novel, 259 
Rebel, the, 259ff 
Rebelliousness, 259ff 
Red Grange, 41 
Redeemer, 71, 93, 130, 354 
Referee, 324 
Regan, 19 

"Regulus, The Return of," 267ff 
Regulus, the Roman, 266ff 
Religion, 273ff, 366 

of Christ, 58 

false, 366ff 

Religious covenant, 70 
Renaissance, 277 
Repentance, 203, 264 

breaks, 184 

deathbed, 140 
Reputation, bad, 349 
Ridicule, 267 
Rigdon, Sidney, 126 
Righteousness, 144, 149 
River, if youll follow the, 145ff 
Research, 34 
Resolutions, 27 
Responsibility, to God, 276 

individual, 69 
Resurrection, 164, 203 
Return to Religion, The, by H. C. Link, 


Road, to success, 146 
Roman Empire, 209 
Roman soldier, 280 

soldiers, 301 
Romans, 54 
Rome, 196, 252, 299 

military might of, 282 



"Room, no," 209ff 

Roosevelt, Franklin D., 27, 379 

Theodore, 107, 108 
Rosedale, 160 

Rosenow, Dr. Edward, 178 
Rufus, stealing watermelons, 226 
Rusldn, 278 
Russia, 194 
Russians, 276 
Ruth, 74 


Sacrament table, 72 

Salvation, 211, 366 

Samaria, 22 

Samaritan, good, 244 

Samson, 19, 206 

Sanhedrin, 150 

Satan, 78, 99, 135, 143, 185, 264, 292, 

332, 347, 377 

empire o, 21 
Satellite, 290 
Saul, of Tarsus, 150 
Savior, 55, 130 

birth of, 35ff 
Scavenger, town, 281 
Scientists, 167 
Scipio, 264 
Scout oath, 105 
Scriptures, 53 
Scylla, 219 

Second coming, of Christ, 353ff 
Seed beds, 293 
Seeds, 287ff 

of faith, 166 
Self-discipline, 300 
Self-improvement, 107 
Self-remade man, 204 
Selfishness, 360 
Senate, United States, 158 
Seneca, 122, 320 
Sensuality, 297 
"Sermon on the Mount," 54ff 
Serpent, 7 

of brass, 91 

symbol of, 90 
Serpents, the fiery, 89ff 
Servant, the unprofitable, 374ff 
Servants, unprofitable, 380 
Sesterces, 199 
Sex, 332 

Shakespeare, 19, 67, 118, 145, 186, 189 
Shave, 138 

Shaw, George Bernard, 106 
Sheep, 113 
Shepherds, 35 
Sickness, of the soul, 26 

Simon, and the cross, 301 ff 

death of, 354 
Simon Peter, 48, 151 
Sin, 66, 92ff, 98, 135, 174, 202, 205ff, 

328, 376 

wages of, 66 
Sinners, 54 
Sins, our, 333 
Sir Galahad, 98 
Slavery, political, 322 
Slaves, Egyptian, 89 
Slingshot, 155 
Sloth, 99 
Smith, Joseph, 34, 37, 39, 126, 149, 

178 292 

Smith' Pres. Joseph F., 57 
Snakes, 90 
Social welfare, 362 
Socialism, 13 
Socrates, 48, 140, 163 
Sodom and Gomorrah, 334 

American, 299 
"Sohrab and Rustum," by M. Arnold, 


Soil, 290 ' 
Soldier, 83 
Soldiers, 231 

enemy, 350 

of Saul, 157 

Solomon, 49, 78, 97, 210, 277 
Son, of Abraham Lincoln, 262 
Son, dishonorable, 134 
Son of Perdition, 69 
Sons, of Simon, 303 
Soul, human, 15 

of man, 356 

Spanish- American War, 108 
Sparta, 199 
Spartacus, 196ff 
Spartans, 105 
Speech, 171 
Speicher, Paul, 110 
Spider, and the fly, 231 
Spirit, of Christmas, 213 

effect of sin on, 92 

things of, 14 

unclean, 109 
"Spiritual ballistics," 47 
Spiritual amnesia, 29 

death, 296 
"Square," 103 
Stake reorganization, 171 
Standard of living, American, 362 
Stars, 227 

Steps, from heaven to hell, 295 
Stevenson, Robert Louis, 107 
Stewardship, 376 
St. Augustine, 158 
St. Helena, 187 



St. Luke, 35 

St. Paul's Cathedral, 64ff, 185 

Stinger, bee, 44 

Stock market, 362 

Stradivari, Antonio, 40ff 

Strength, moral, 267 

Struggle, to be free, 196 

Student, university graduate, 140 

Success, 56, 68 

basic principle of, 375 

meaning of, 16 

personal, 325 

prepare in advance, 192 

Secret of, 172 

spiritual, 109 
Suffering, of Jesus, 297 
"Sun, Glory of the," 130 
Sunday, Billy, 138 
Sunday School, 275 

superintendent, 13 
Supermarket, 161, 288 
Supreme being, belief in, 354 
Surveys, public, 6 
Swift, 118 
Syracuse, 289, 323 
Syrasella, 198 
System, economic, 362 

"Talents/' 168, 365 

Talents, parable of, 185ff, 374ff 

Tares, 292 

Tartars, 308 

Taxation, 363 

Taxes, 363 

Tea, abstinence from, 56 

Telephone pole, 229 

Telescope, the other end of, 223ff 

Telestial Kingdom, 128ff 

Television, 287 

Temple, Jewish, 352 

Temptation, 58 

Ten Commandments, 30, 66, 330ff, 


Terrestrial Kingdom, 125ff 
Thaddaeus, death of, 354 
Thankfulness, 121 
Thanksgiving, 117 
Thermopylae, 199 
Thessalonians, 32 
"Things," 168 
Things, 365 
Thistles, 292 
Thomas, 54 
Thomas, death of, 354 

Doubting, 203 
Thompson, Dr. H. O., 180 
Thought processes, 266 

Thoughts, 293 

sinful, 170 
Thrift, 363 
Tiberius, 264 
Tigers, of life, 116 
Time, use of extra, 337ff 

we save, 337ff 
Times, New York, 132 
Timidity, 378 
Timothy, 32, 109 
Tithing, 56 
Titans, 232 
Tobacco, 56 
Toil, 242 

Tomato plants, irrigation of, 51 
Tomato seed, 14 
Torkelstone, 100 
Tortoise and the Hare, 231 
Townsend banner, 363 
Training, child, 274 
Traitor, 69 
Transgression, 264 

seeds of, 292 

Transgressions, Adam's, 206 
Transgressor, 264 
Tree of knowledge of good and evil, 


of life, 288 
Tribune, Roman, 281 
Trojan War, 216, 344 
Trojan Horse, the, 344ff 
Trojan horses, of Satan, 347ff 
Trojans, 345 
Troy, 216, 344 

"True Friendship," poem, 75ff 
Trust, 78 

Truths, partial, 349 
Tyre, king of, 20 


Underdog, 261 

Unfaithful, 59 

United Nations Charter, 67 

United States, 94 

Universe, 33 

Unprogressiveness, 161 

Unwanted, 205 

Uranium, 168 

U. S. News and World Report, 68 

Utah State Penitentiary, 294 

Utopia, 68 


VacillatLon, 138 
Vagueness, habit of, 17 
Valley Forge, 112 
Valuation, of U. S., 16 



Values, human, 342, 376 

of life, 13 

moral, 274 

Vessel, the marred, 201ff 
Vice, 150 

View, point of, 224 
Violations, of Sabbath Day, 30 
Violins, 46 
Virtues, 188 
Vision, 229 
Vision, of Father and Son to Joseph 

Smith, 356ff 
"Visitor from Porlock," 190, 191 


Want level, of performance, 282 

Wants, from life, 6 

War in heaven, 13 

Warriors, 266 

Wars, 71, 194 

Washington, George, 112, 151, 177 

Way of life, American, 5 

Wealth, 377 

meaning of, 16 
Webb, Captain, 163 
Webster, Daniel, 33, 276 
Welfare program, Church, 364 
Wells, H. G., 377 
Wesley, John, 297 
"Which Shall It Be?" poem, 84ff 
White, James T., 160 
Willingness, 281, 285 

Wilson, Charles E., 141 

Wilson, Woodrow, 169 

Word of Wisdom, 58 

Work, as a medicine, 181 

Workers, 42 

World, The Chance, 61ff 

World War II, 352 

Worlds, delicate balance of, 62 

Worship, 78, 121 

of God, 165, 341 
Wrestler, 327 


Xanthippus, 268 


"You Were There," 338 
Young, Brigham, 158, 167 
Young Churchman, 326ff 
Young man, 43 

errant, 147ff 
Young woman, broken-hearted, 276 

errant, 235 


Zanuck, Daryl, 298 
Zarephath, 24 
Zeus, 220, 233 
Zion, City of, 59 

(continued from inside front panel} 
only to make thoughts interesting, 
but to motivate accomplishment. This 
new book contains a wealth, of worth- 
while ideas and illustrations, the con- 
templation of which will help to 
illuminate life's objectives, strengthen 
its incentives and increase its produc- 

Personal growth compares with 
faith in importance. Both have the 
ability to move mountains. Jesus set 
the power of a faith the size of a mus- 
tard seed, against the great Mount 
Hermon towering nine thousand feet 
into the sky. We might find examples 
of the power of growth that were, 
equally dramatic. In the Grand Can- 
yon of the Colorado, near tihe spot 
where the famous Bright Angel Trail 
begins its descent from the rim of the 
canyon, there is a lone pine tree 
growing on the canyon's edge with 
its root system exposed to view. This 
tree began its growth when a seed 
fell into a small crack in the surface 
of the rock. With the help of the sun, 
the rain and a few grains of soil, the 
seed soon became a seedling and then 
a sturdy pine. In its growing process 
it sent its roots down into the "granite 
and eventually split the canyon wall 
and sent a million tons of rock intc 
the chasm below. 

In its, * sense, real growth taking 
place in huu~. "' r ^ produces an even 
greater power. And we hope that this 
book may be an instrument for setting 
those influences in motion that will 
produce a more abundant harvest 
in the lives of those who read it. 

Other books by Sterling W. Sill: 
Leadership I and II, Glory of the Sun, 
and The Upward Reach. 

Eternal Equities 
All the poised balances of God would 


Did men not get the blessings they deserve? 
And all the vigorous scales of fate would 

Did men not get the punishments they 

earn? Edwin Markhani